|Born: December 7, 1936|
New York, New York
|Died: November 23, 2001 (aged 64)|
Las Vegas, Nevada
|April 18, 1962, for the Los Angeles Angels|
|May 18, 1970, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Earned run average||4.10|
Robert "Bo" Belinsky (December 7, 1936 – November 23, 2001) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He became a California celebrity as a rookie with the original Los Angeles Angels. He is best known for pitching a no-hitter against his former Major League Baseball team, the Baltimore Orioles, in 1962. Belinsky is one of only two pitchers in the history of the Angels to start his career with a four-game winning streak or better. The other was Jered Weaver, in 2006.
Life and baseball career[change | change source]
Belinksy was born in New York City, to a Polish-American Catholic father and a Jewish mother. He grew up in Trenton, New Jersey. He became a "street rat" and one-time pool gambler. Belinsky was already getting in trouble while still in the minor leagues for partying at night. He pitched for several seasons in the Baltimore Orioles minor leagues. His career and life changed when the Angels picked him in a minor league draft for the 1962 season.
Belinsky had a losing career record of wins and losses, but he threw the first no-hitter in the history of the Los Angeles Angels. It was also the first to be thrown at Dodger Stadium, beating the Baltimore Orioles 2–0 on May 5, 1962. His no-hitter was his fourth straight win at the start of his rookie season.
After throwing the no-hitter Belinsky said, "If music be the food of love, by all means let the band play on." The 1962 season was a crazy one for him. He became a gossip topic for Southern California sportswriters. They took pictures and reported in the news about his partying and dating many movie star women. He became known as a playboy. He was dating at one time or another, famous women like Ann-Margret, Connie Stevens, Tina Louise and Mamie Van Doren, the last his fiancee for a year. One of his teammates once said, "Bo had more fun off the field than he did on the field."
After a hotel room fight in 1964, he was let go by the Angels. They traded him to the Philadelphia Phillies. After spending a little over a season with the Phillies, he also pitched for the Houston Astros, Pittsburgh Pirates and Cincinnati Reds. His career ended in the Cincinnati minor league in 1970.
Later life and death[change | change source]
Belinsky married and divorced a Playboy Playmate of the Year, Jo Collins. He eventually overcame alcoholism. He then became a counselor for the alcohol abuse program he had entered in Hawaii. He later moved to Las Vegas to work in advertising. He was then off drugs and alcohol and was a born-again Christian. ("Can you imagine," he was quoted as saying, "finding Jesus Christ in Las Vegas?").