A blazing fastball, used 90 percent of the time, made Hrabosky one of the most effective
relievers of the 1970s. The chunky southpaw's nickname, The Mad Hungarian, came from
his nationality, Fu Manchu mustache and long hair, and angry stomping to the back
of the mound to psych himself up. He was TSN NL Fireman of the Year in 1975 with St. Louis (13-3, 1.67, 22 saves). When he wasn't
selected to the All-Star team in 1974, St. Louis fans rallied behind him, honoring
him with a "We Hlove Hrabosky Hbanner Hday." Traded in December 1977 to the Royals
for reliever Mark Littell, in 1979 he signed a multi-million-dollar contract with
the Braves via free agency, but recorded only 7 of his lifetime 97 saves with Atlanta.
He became a Cardinal broadcaster.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 22, 1976: Reggie Smith slams three homers and drives in five runs to give the Cardinals a 7–6 win over the Phillies. Smith's 3rd round tripper is a solo shot with two out in the 9th inning off Tug McGraw to give Al Hrabosky the win.
»June 11, 1976:
The Cards score a 5-spot in the first inning against the Reds, and lead 7–2 going into the bottom of the 7th, only to lose 8–7. Tony Perez ends the game with a 3-run homer off Al Hrabosky.
»November 20, 1979: The Braves sign reliever Al Hrabosky, "the Mad Hungarian," a reentry free agent formerly with the Royals, to a 5-year pact worth $2.2 million.
»April 12, 1980:
"The Mad Hungarian" Al Hrabosky has got to be really steamed as he serves up a 2-out, 2-strike, 2-run gopher to the Reds Davey Concepcion. The Reds win, 4–3 over the Braves in Atlanta.