The Phillies' first draft selection in June 1972, the 6'4" Christensen won his ML
debut in 1973 at age 19. He improved each year, and in 1977 went 19-6, winning 15
of his last 16. Hampered by injuries, he underwent three elbow operations and, in
a 1979 charity bike-a
thon, broke his collarbone. He was knocked out in the first
inning of Game Four of the 1980 WS, but won a divisional playoff game for the Phillies
in strike-shortened 1981. He hit 11 career homers.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»June 6, 1972: Shortstops are the first two picks in the June draft. The Padres make Dave Roberts the number one selection and the Indians pick Rick Manning number 2. Roberts will make his ML debut in two days. The Phils take high school pitcher Larry Christenson with the 3rd pick, with the Rangers taking high schooler Roy Howell 4th: they'll wait till the 25th round to take Mike Hargrove. The Dodgers use their #1 on SS John Harbin but he will tear up his knee and be gone next year. The Rangers will have 13 from this draft to make the majors. Picking 5th, the Expos take Memphis high school catcher Bobby Goodman, but do better on the 3rd round when they take catcher Gary Carter.
»February 11, 1979: Phillies P Larry Christenson falls during a charity bicycle caravan, fracturing his collarbone.
»July 4, 1979: The Phillies Steve Carlton shuts out the Mets 1–0 on a one-hitter, but the Phils manage to lose three other hurlers on the same day: Larry Christenson pulls a groin muscle, Dick Ruthven goes on the disabled list, and Randy Lerch fractures his thumb in a brawl.