RIP to Bill Fischer, a pitcher who still holds the record for most consecutive innings pitched without issuing a walk. He died on Tuesday, October 30 at the age of 88. Fischer played for the Chicago White Sox (1956-8), Detroit Tigers (1958; 1960-61), Washington Senators (1958-60), Kansas City Athletics (1961-3) and Minnesota Twins (1964).
Fischer signed with the White Sox before the 1948 season and pitched in the minors until 1951. He was drafted by the Marines and spent two years in the Armed Forces before returning to the mound in 1954. He made it briefly to the majors in 1956 and got hit hard in three appearances. His first substantial MLB time came the following season, when he went 7-8 with a 3.48 ERA, three complete games, a shutout and a save in 33 appearances (11 starts).
Fischer played on three teams in 1958 but was really only effective for the Senators, with whom he had three starts (and an 0-3 record). He threw a career-high 187-1/3 innings with Washington in 1959, working mostly as a starter. He went 9-11 with a 4.28 ERA.
Fischer moved around more before his final season, but he did manage a bit of baseball history in 1962 while with the A’s. In 127-2/3 innings, he allowed a grand total of 8 walks. Included in that season was a stretch of 84-1/3 innings without walking a batter. No other pitcher has topped that mark. Greg Maddux made it to 72-1/3 innings in 2001, but his streak ended with, of all things, an intentional walk. For all his pinpoint control, Fischer ended that season with a 4-12 record, as the A’s finished in 9th place with a 72-90 record.
Bill Fischer’s major-league career ended after a poor few games with the Twins in 1964. He ended with a 45-58 record and 4.34 ERA in 281 games, 78 of which were starts. He threw 16 complete games and earned 13 saves. He walked 210 batters while striking out 313. He pitched in the minors until 1968 and retired with 124 wins there.
Fischer worked as a coach almost to the end of his life. He was a minor-league pitching coach for Kansas City from 1975-8, a Cincinnati Reds coach from 1979-83 and a pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox from 1985-91 and Tampa Bay Rays from 2001-2. He was working for the Royals as a senior adviser for the past eight seasons