A fair reliever whose only losing season came when he went 0-1 in his last year,
Ryba had his best season with the 1944 Red Sox (12-7, 3.33). One of the most versatile
players ever, he was referred to as The One-Man Team. At various times (but not in
the majors) he caught and played the infield and outfield. He also managed, coached
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»September 22, 1935:
The Cards shave the lead to three games by twice beating the Reds, 14–4 and 3–1. Mike Ryba, in relief of Bill Hallahan in the 2nd, wins the opener pitching seven innings of two-hit ball in his major league debut. He also knocks in three runs on two hits. Dizzy Dean wins his 28th, allowing just three hits and striking out ten, to take the nitecap.
»April 19, 1945: Joe Cronin of the Red Sox, catches his spikes at 2B and fractures his right leg in a 4–3 loss to the Yankees. The 39-year-old will retire but continues as manager. Mike Ryba decides the game by hitting Johnny Lindell on the wrist with the bases full in the 9th.
»August 3, 1980:
In a 6–4 win over Texas, Boston's Tom Burgmeier finishes the last inning in RF. He's the first Red Sox pitcher to play a position since Mike Ryba caught in three games in 1942.