Born: October 24, 1950
Town: Camden, New Jersey
Rawlins Jackson Eastwick was born October 24, 1950 in Camden. Rawly grew up in Haddonfield and attended Haddonfield High. He was a lanky, 6'3" right-hander who threw a hard, sinking fastball and later developed a dependable slider and change. He challenged hitters by pitching to contact, and when they hit the ball at all they usually beat the ball into the dirt.
Rawly was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the third round of the 1969 draft. He pitched six seasons in the minors—primarily as a reliever—before the Reds called him up in September of 1974. Rawly began 1975 in the minors but was back with the Reds in May. Manager Sparky Anderson was famous for his short hook with starters, so he needed a strong bullpen. He gave Rawly a chance to save games in early July and he didn’t blow a game until the end of the month. He and lefty Will McEnany split the closer’s job the rest of the way. McEnany saved 16 games and Rawly tued for the NL lead with 22 saves.
Rawly won the clinching game of the NLCS against the Pirates, and was credited with victories in Games 2 and 3 of the 1975 World Series against the Red Sox. He saved Game 5 and had a chance to close out Game 6, but gave up a game-tying homer to Bernie Carbo in the eighth inning. The Reds won Game 7 to win the series.
Rawly had another excellent year in 1976. He saved 26 games to lead the league again, added 11 relief victories, and won the Rolaids Relief Man of the Year Award. The Reds swept the Phillies in the NLCS, and once again Rawley got the victory in the finale. He did not see action against the Yankees in the 1976, as the Reds blew them out in four straight.
Rawly lobbied for a big raise in 1977 and didn’t get it. He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals midway through the season. He pitched in the majors until 1981. He saved just 22 more games for the Cards, Yankees, Phillies, Royals and White Sox. He finished his career with 28 wins, 68 saves and a 3.31 ERA. An excellent fielder, he set a record for NL hurlers by playing 274 games in a row without committing an error.