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Ralph Branca knows his minor league ERA from 1945

Oct 19, 2011, 3:30 PM EDT

Ralph Branca

There’s a whole lot of other stuff in this interview that our friend Bill from The Platoon Advantage did with Dodgers legend Ralph Branca.  Stuff about Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey and the Shot Heard ‘Round the World. All of it interesting and historic and cool.

But I gotta tell ya, the thing that sticks out to me the most was when Bill asked Branca about pitching for the St. Paul Saints in 1945 for a grand total of four months and that Branca knew his ERA — 3.04 — right off the top of his head.

I couldn’t tell you what I had for breakfast yesterday and Branca knows his ERA from 66 years ago. Mercy.

Great interview. Good job, Bill.  Check it out.

  1. halladaysbiceps - Oct 19, 2011 at 3:35 PM

    I hear Ralph Branca is a big fan of Sean Forman and baseball-reference . com. That’s how he knew his ERA. I’m sure if you asked Branca, he probably knew what his xFIP was too in 1945.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

      You say that like it’s a bad thing…

  2. skipperxc - Oct 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

    The stats he names (ERA, starts, and complete games) are actually his numbers upon his return to Brooklyn that year.

  3. Jeremy T - Oct 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

    Hmm, I just checked Branca’s BR page, and it says there that his ’45 ERA with St Paul was 3.33. His major league ERA was 3.04 in that year, though. I guess your first significant time in the majors is memorable with to stick with you for a lifetime.

    • Jeremy T - Oct 19, 2011 at 3:49 PM

      baahh, skipperxc beat me to it

    • Jeremy T - Oct 19, 2011 at 5:09 PM

      Oh crap. *memorable ENOUGH to stick with you for a lifetime. Edit function? :)

  4. Bill - Oct 19, 2011 at 4:01 PM

    Yeah, the sentence there is “I went back to Brooklyn and started fifteen games and completed seven, and had a 3.04 ERA.” I think it’s impressive enough that he knows his MLB stats from 1945, though. :)

    Thanks very much for the link and compliment. It was a lot of fun.

  5. jwbiii - Oct 19, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    I’m just happy to hear that he’s on the sunny side of the turf!

  6. clydeserra - Oct 19, 2011 at 9:33 PM

    That guy would be a better choice to manage the Marlins than Jack McKeon

  7. edwardbranca - Jun 7, 2015 at 1:55 PM

    Mr. Branca is my uncle. But he has nothing to do with me. I assume that is because I am living with a disabling psychiatric illness. The whole Branca side of my family totally ignores me. My only “crime” is being mentally ill.

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