Touring The Bases With…Mike Hedlund
A native of Dallas, Texas, pitcher Mike “Red” Hedlund was signed as an amateur free agent right out of Arlington High School by the Cleveland Indians in 1964. After only 25 minor league innings, the righthander made his major league debut on May 8, 1965 at the tender age of 18 and retired future Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski to begin his career. Hedlund made six appearances for the Indians in 1965, then spent most of the next three seasons in the minors where he went 22-31 between Double- and Triple-A, although with a very good 2.30 ERA in 1968.
Hedlund was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 1968 expansion draft and enjoyed his best season in 1971 when he went 15-8 with a 2.71 ERA in 32 games, and formed what looked to be a solid young nucleus with Dick Drago and Paul Splittorff, but Hedlund was ineffective in 1972 and ended up being traded three times between 1972-1974, but never appeared in the majors again. He finished his major league career with a record of 25-24 and a 3.56 ERA in 113 games.
Here’s a video interview Tony De Angelo and I conducted with Hedlund.