“I am honored and humbled to be recognized and part of the elite athletes that have come from our hometown. Growing up in Rancho Cordova and being selected to the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame is an overwhelming honor for me. I will cherish this forever.”
Major League Baseball
High School: Cordova
* MLB Career: 12 Years (Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Montreal, San Francisco)
* World Series Champion (1980)
* Career Pitching Record: 60-64
* 507 Career Strikeouts
Randy Lerch was born and raised in Rancho Cordova. He seemed destined to be a ball player at a very young age. He never really wanted to be anything else. He was a son of a Fire Chief, who was also his mentor. His dad played semi-pro ball when he wasn’t fighting fires in the Sacramento area.
Randy was a tall lanky kid that could throw a mean fastball at a very young age. As a 12 year old all-star, he tossed several no hitters including a perfect game. When he got to high school, he grew to be 6’ 5” and was virtually unhittable. With a blazing fastball at 95 piles per hour, his record at Cordova High School was 38-1. He was undefeated his senior year with a 13-0 record and was an all city selection and part of one of the best teams ever in Sacramento. He played for legendary coach Guy Anderson, who was the winningest high school baseball coach in history. Five members from that team were drafted by Major League teams. One of those was Randy’s close friend and fellow Sacramento Sports Hall of Famer, Jerry Manuel who was drafted in the 1st round of the 1972 draft. A year later, Randy was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Randy was more than just an excellent pitcher as he was an exceptional hitter. He actually liked to hit more than pitch. He spent three years in the minors and hit .310 his first season, the highest of any pitcher and most position players. He led the league in Wins, Earned Run Average and Strikeouts each season including 152 strikeouts in his final minor league season.
At 20 years old, he made his major league debut. In 1977, he was a starter in the Phillies rotation and won 10 games. He had several Hall of Fame teammates including fellow Sacramento Sports Hall of Famer, Larry Bowa. Philadelphia won the National League East with 101 victories. The Phillies won the division again the following year but for the second year in a row they lost in the National League Championship Series to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
In 1978, Randy was an 11 game winner and got the start in the next to last game of the season. Facing the Pittsburgh Pirates for the National League East title, Randy had his best game of his career. In his first at-bat of the game, Randy hit a home run. In his next at-bat, he went deep again. The Phillies went on to win the game 10-8 with Randy hitting two home runs and being the winning pitcher and clinching the division for the Phillies.
The following season Randy was involved in history again. The Phillies and Cubs played the second highest scoring game ever. With an 18 mile per hour wind blowing out at Wrigley Field, Randy started the famous game and was staked to a 7-0 first inning lead. One of those runs came off of Randy’s bat as he homered in the top of the 1st. The game featured 35 runs, 50 hits, 11 home runs with 127 batters coming to the plate. The Phillies won 23-22.
Randy was part of some great Phillies teams. It culminated with a World Series title in 1980. He moved on from Philadelphia after that season and went to Milwaukee. He was back in the playoffs after the Brewers won the American League East and faced the New York Yankees. Randy started Game 3 in which the Brewers won 5-3.
After 2 seasons in Montreal, Randy got to realize a dream come true as he played for the San Francisco Giants. His teammate was Sacramento Sports Hall of Famer, Dusty Baker. After two seasons in San Francisco, he finished his career in Philadelphia and retired in 1986. Randy played a total of 12 major league seasons and was one of the hardest throwing and best hitting pitchers during his era and one of the best to come from Sacramento.
In 2019, Randy published his 256-page autobiography, "God in the Bullpen.” detailing his remarkable redemption story of battling Alcohol and Drug addiction. After being reclusive for many years, Randy has been sober since 2016 and openly shares his story. Randy is proud to still live in the area and still calls Sacramento his home.