100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 53 – Larry Christenson

Larry Christenson
Starting Pitcher

Career w/Phillies: 1402.2 IP / 83-71 / 3.79 ERA / 781 K

For much of his 11 seasons, Christenson was a stalwart in the Phillies pitching staff. Very young when he entered the majors, he recorded his first win at age 19. He hit his peak very early, too, going 13-14 with a 3.24 ERA at age 24. But injuries did Christenson in, especially with his elbow. He required a few surgeries on the elbow — a true case of a pitcher who was overworked too young and never found a roll. But for a few seasons in the late 1970s, Christenson was a very solid arm. He went 5-1 for the 1980 Phillies, getting a start in game four of the World Series, but was knocked out early. He went 9-10 with a 3.47 ERA in 1982, but again had elbow surgery, ending his career for good. Though Christenson’s career ended 26 years ago, he is just nine years older than current Phillie Jamie Moyer.

Comment: Talk about a young flash. Christenson was a good pitcher, but had too many arm problems and cut his career achingly short. He retired before his 30th birthday.




    February 2, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    I miss those uniforms

  2. Jim

    February 2, 2009 at 9:24 pm

    one of just six pitchers to hit 2 home runs in one game along with the likes of robert person and rick wise (who did it twice, and i suspect should make this list unless he was already on it)

  3. Jim

    February 2, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    should note that he was one of six PHILLIE pitchers

  4. Rob Cowie

    February 2, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    At that person game vs mtl

  5. christopher

    February 2, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    #53 for christenson is a very fitting ranking.

  6. Malcolm

    February 2, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    Excellent choice Tim! I had been waiting for him since #60!

  7. Tom G

    February 3, 2009 at 9:26 am

    loved him from the beginning…had high, high hopes coming off his first start as a rookie…was invisioning a Carlton-Christensen ace-ace…he completed his first major league game…oh, the possibilities if they hit for him…and he avoided injuries

  8. bigmyc

    February 3, 2009 at 6:55 pm

    What tha?….Christenson’s crime according to you was being slotted ahead of Charlie Parlay and after eleven years of hard service you call him a butt munch?…..you must be one classy grab for some lucky has been cheerleader whose best assets have long since gone to her cankles.

    I attack because I’ve always liked the guy and actually met him at a tavern while he was on a business trip four years ago. He’s a real down to earth guy and even slid his WS ring off and let me hold it when he found out I was a Phillies phan….Rose was fantastic, but Larry deserves #53. Maybe Charlie Gristle shoulda spent more time managing and less time betting.

  9. clktwr14

    February 3, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    Yeah, bigmyc and if Marge Schott did a little less buying BS for her dog and spend some money on talent for the Reds Pete Rose would have won, a few championships as a manager, so forget about Pete’s faults off the field of play.

  10. Eric Abrams

    June 18, 2009 at 2:24 am

    You’ve got to be kidding. As a kid I hated Larry Christenson because whenever he was pitching a big game he always choked. In 1980 he almost lost the Series with his one inning of incompetence. Hell, his best year when he won 19 games he had an era over 4 and was the league leader in run support. Put simply, in 1977 you could’ve put a pitching machine on the mound during Larry’s starts and had pretty much the same results. The guy was a scrub, not one of the 100 best Phillies of all time. I’d take Shane Rawley over him any time.

  11. Anna

    October 22, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    LARRY CHRISTENSON!! hahahaha I have met you over 1 thousand times…. (maybe not that many) but I didn’t know you played for the phillies??? well anyway see you in a couple weeks at Jay’s.. bye

  12. Christine C.

    March 26, 2010 at 8:19 am

    i love Larry!

  13. Michale Galvano

    July 17, 2010 at 1:44 am

    free on the net flash video games capturing game titles

  14. Shawn Davis Britt

    August 2, 2010 at 5:19 am

    I have known Larry C (Big Bird) and his family since since we were about 13 yrs old. Larry had the kind of life that a lot of other kids would have gone sideways, but not Larry . When it came to football, basketball (were he also could of gone pro) and baseball he was all heart. In highschool he was always a team leader, though I know there were times when he would have loved to kick back and just play the game he loved without having to carry the load, not Larry he was the whole package he just did it and never whinned. Most all of the time kept his cool. As a junior in HS, I can remember driving him home from the Dr. during daliy doubles spring training ,holding a ice pack on his elbow toease the swelling and pain from the cortisone jammed in his sixteen year old body , that wasn’t even fully developed. You have to remember the days when all that crap was done to some many kids because of over bearing adults (not his mom etheir, never). He was grace underfire, always had enough time to play with my annoying little brother and sisters.Took time for any little boy that wanted their card or whatever signed.Just imagine if he was coming up now what a future he would have had. Not to lessen the one he did. Don’t forget the other injury he had while raising money for charity. He was in pain 24/7 yet never got hooked on drugs or cheated like so many others of his time and nowadays. If you do not know him don’t judge the man. Also at one time Larry had the fastest fast ball in the world as said in Ripleys. SO BACK OFF. Larry this is your own press you can believe.

  15. David

    August 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm

    One of my great memories as a Phillies fan was attending this game at Shea Stadium. Christensen gave up 1 run in 8.1 innings and hit two home runs to stop an 8 game Phillies losing streak. Pitched out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning. One of the greatest individual performances I have ever seen.

    Philadelphia PhilliesGlossary · Click headers to sort · SHARESHARE [X] · CSV · PRE · LINK
    Batting AB R H RBI
    Dave Cash 2B 4 0 1 0
    Garry Maddox CF 4 1 1 0
    Mike Schmidt 3B 4 0 0 0
    Greg Luzinski LF 3 0 1 1
    Jerry Martin LF 0 0 0 0
    Dick Allen 1B 4 0 0 0
    Tom Hutton 1B 0 0 0 0
    Ollie Brown RF 3 0 1 0
    Bob Boone C 3 0 0 0 0
    Larry Bowa SS 3 0 0 0
    Larry Christenson P 3 2 2 2 0 2·HR
    Ron Reed P 0 0 0 0 0
    Team Totals 31 3 6 3 1 4 .194 .599 0.041 0.85 0.485 -0.446 -0.8 27 13

    HR: L Christenson 2 (2, 2 off M Lolich; 3rd inn, 0 on, 1 out; 8th inn, 0 on, 0 outs).
    SF: G Luzinski (9, off M Lolich).
    TB: L Christenson 8; G Luzinski; G Maddox; O Brown; D Cash.
    RBI: L Christenson 2 (8); G Luzinski (84).
    Team LOB: 3.
    With RISP: 0 for 2.
    DP: 2. O Brown-D Allen; L Bowa-D Cash-T Hutton.
    E: L Bowa (13).
    Outfield Assists: O Brown (M Phillips at 1st base); O Brown (B Harrelson at 3rd base).
    CS: D Cash (10, 2nd base by R Baldwin/J Stearns).
    New York MetsGlossary · Click headers to sort · SHARESHARE [X] · CSV · PRE · LINK
    Batting AB R H RBI
    Bruce Boisclair CF 4 0 2 0
    Mike Phillips 2B 4 1 2 0
    Billy Baldwin LF 4 0 1 0
    Dave Kingman RF 4 0 1 0
    Ed Kranepool 1B 4 0 0 1
    Pepe Mangual PR 0 0 0 0 0
    Roy Staiger 3B 4 0 0 0 0
    John Stearns C 3 0 0 0
    Bud Harrelson SS 3 0 2 0
    Mickey Lolich P 1 0 0 0 0
    Rick Baldwin P 0 0 0 0
    Joe Torre PH 1 0 0 0
    Bob Apodaca P 0 0 0 0
    Team Totals 32 1 8 1 0 1 .250 .594 -0.459 1.36 0.418 -0.877 -2.8 27 12

    2B: B Harrelson (11, off L Christenson).
    3B: B Boisclair (2, off L Christenson).
    SH: M Lolich (11, off L Christenson).
    TB: B Boisclair 4; B Harrelson 3; M Phillips 2; D Kingman; B Baldwin.
    GIDP: R Staiger (7).
    RBI: E Kranepool (39).
    Team LOB: 5.
    With RISP: 1 for 7.
    Philadelphia PhilliesGlossary · Click headers to sort · SHARESHARE [X] · CSV · PRE · LINK
    Larry Christenson, W (11-8) 8.1 8 1 1 0 1 0 3.79 32 64 0.284 1.27 1.9
    Ron Reed, S (13) 0.2 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.45 1 2 0 0.175 4.42 0.8
    Team Totals 9 8 1 1 0 1 0 1.00 33 64 2 0 0.459 0.85 2.7

    New York MetsGlossary · Click headers to sort · SHARESHARE [X] · CSV · PRE · LINK

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