‘Mad Hungarian’ to Speak at WWU

A blazing fastball made Al Hrabosky, the “Mad Hungarian,” one of the most effective relievers of the 1970s. These days the former Cardinal is a color commentator, and he will bring his speaking skills to William Woods University Tuesday (Jan. 25).


The program, part of the President’s Concert and Lecture Series, is scheduled for 7 p.m. in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center.  It is free and open to the public.


Hrabosky will share his stories of his baseball and broadcasting career. His talk will also focus on leadership, teamwork and what it takes to be successful.


The 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.


Born  in 1949 in Oakland, Calif., Hrabosky has one of the all-time best winning percentages for a relief pitcher. He was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the 11th round during the amateur draft of 1967. He did not sign with the Twins, instead inking a contract with the Cardinals two years later when they made him their first-round choice.


At 20, Hrabosky pitched a scoreless inning against the San Diego Padres during his major league debut. His best year was 1975, when he led the National League in saves with 22. This led him on the path to winning the “Sporting News NL Frieman of the Year Award.”


After eight seasons with the Cardinals, Hrabosky was traded to the Royals in 1977. Two years later, as a free agent, he signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Braves. He signed on with the Chicago White Sox during their spring training in 1983, but retired at 33 before the season began.


During 13 seasons, Hrabosky had a recorded 64 wins, 35 losses and 97 saves with an ERA of 3.10. Following his playing career, he started providing color commentary for the Cardinals games in 1985 and has been with Fox Sports Midwest since 1997.


He also donates much of his time to charities, such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association, KUTO, Cancer Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the Health Careers Foundations. He also hosts the St. Louis Cardinal’s Elementary School “Say No to Drugs” program with Fredbird, the St. Louis Cardinal’s mascot.


The President’s Concert and Lecture Series was created by William Woods University to encourage student and community participation in educational and cultural events. For more information, contact Brenda Foster at (573) 592-4219 or bfoster@williamwoods.edu.