'Mad Hungarian' Hrabosky to return for Hot Springs Baseball Weekend

“The Mad Hungarian,” former Cardinals pitcher Al Hrabosky, will make his fourth appearance at Hot Springs Baseball Weekend in August, Visit Hot Springs announced Wednesday. - Submitted photo is courtesy of Visit Hot Springs
“The Mad Hungarian,” former Cardinals pitcher Al Hrabosky, will make his fourth appearance at Hot Springs Baseball Weekend in August, Visit Hot Springs announced Wednesday. - Submitted photo is courtesy of Visit Hot Springs

"The Mad Hungarian," former Cardinals pitcher Al Hrabosky, will make his fourth appearance at Hot Springs Baseball Weekend in August, Visit Hot Springs announced Wednesday.

Hot Springs Baseball Weekend is set for Aug. 27-28 at the Hot Springs Convention Center.

"Al has been a guest at every one of our Baseball Weekends, and he'll return in August to once again meet and entertain fans at our fourth annual celebration of Hot Springs' role as The Birthplace of Major League Baseball Springs training," Visit Hot Springs CEO Steve Arrison said in a news release.

"We've started calling him 'Mister Baseball Weekend' because he's proved to be such a hit with the fans," Arrison said. "It wouldn't be Baseball Weekend without 'The Mad Hungarian' on the mound."

Hrabosky joins famed reliever Rich "Goose" Gossage and fellow Hall of Fame outfielder Jim Edmonds as celebrity guests.

"During his time with the Cardinals, Hrabosky became a fan favorite for his antics on the mound. Between each pitch, he would turn his back to the batter, walk toward second base, vigorously rub the ball between his palms several times, take a deep breath and pound the ball into his mitt. He would then storm back to the mound, staring down the batter. Although the crowd would roar in delight, most batters were not fond of the pitcher's routine," the release said.

"Perhaps Hrabosky's most memorable performance came during an ABC Monday Night Baseball game on May 9, 1977, against the Cincinnati Reds. In the top of the ninth with the game tied at 5-5, Hrabosky allowed the first three hitters (all left-handed), Ken Griffey, Joe Morgan and Dan Driessen, to reach base and load the bases. As the Redbirds home crowd roared, Hrabosky went into his 'Mad Hungarian' routine and proceeded to strike out right-handed power hitters George Foster, Johnny Bench and Bob Bailey. The Cardinals went on to win 6-5 on a Ted Simmons home run in the 10th inning."

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