Lewis Bernard Krausse Jr. (April 25, 1943 – February 16, 2021) was an American professional baseball pitcher who played 12 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). He played for the Kansas City / Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers, Boston Red Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, and Atlanta Braves from 1961 to 1974. He batted and threw right-handed and served primarily as a starting pitcher. Once a highly-touted prospect, he had to overcome arm trouble early in his career and spent most of his career with teams that offered low run support.
Krausse was the son of a former Philadelphia Athletics pitcher who remained with the organization as a scout after it moved to Kansas City. Signed to a $125,000 contract following his graduation from high school in 1961, he pitched a shutout in his first MLB start on June 16 of that year. Arm trouble threatened his career after that, and it was not until 1966 that he became a regular in the major leagues. He won 14 games with the Athletics that year, the most he would ever win in a season. In 1967, he had a bitter disagreement with team owner Charlie Finley concerning the pitcher’s activities on a team flight; the rift led to the firing of manager Alvin Dark and the release of first baseman Ken Harrelson. In 1968, he started the first game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum after the Athletics moved to California. Two years later, he started the first game in Milwaukee Brewers history, pitching the team’s first shutout in the same year. He pitched for Boston in 1972, St. Louis in 1973, and Atlanta in 1974, then spent a year in the minor leagues before retiring. Following his baseball career, Krausse and partners started a metal business in the Kansas City area, which Krausse remained involved in from 1983 to 1997.
Krausse married Susan Wickersham, a flight attendant, in November 1969. They remained married for the rest of his life. The couple had two sons, Kurt and Chad, who lived in Kansas City after they grew up. During offseasons, he held a number of different jobs. He once was employed with former major leaguers Mickey Vernon and Danny Murtaugh at a Chester clothing shop. Other fields he labored in included dock work, real estate, season ticket salesman, and hotel public relations. He was inducted into the Delaware County Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, joining his father, who had been inducted in 1963. Continuing to serve as a salesman after his career, in 1983, Krausse took on a larger role when he partnered with Fred Paulsen and Bill Drummond to start a metals service center in Kansas City. The business expanded to serve six states by 1997, when Krausse and Drummond sold it to a larger corporation. Following his baseball career, he became an avid golfer. He lived in rural Holt, Missouri, and enjoyed travelling to Las Vegas and the Churchill Downs. He died of cancer on February 16, 2021, at the age of 77. – Available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License from Wikipedia.