Inaugural Class of 2009
Pitcher, 1st Basemen
Bloomer Pines 1954-55,58-59,61-64,66; Tilden Tigers 1960; Lafayette Indians 1965
Frequently described as “The Big Right-Hander”, Cronin used an unusual side-arm delivery to magnify a blazing fastball in forever making his mark as one of the premier strikeout pitchers in league history.
Racking up a remarkable 1,042 strikeouts in 764.1 innings, he was the “K King” when he retired, and his total still ranks 2nd all-time some 45 years after his last game. Averaged over 12 strikeouts (12.27) per nine innings, the 3rd all-time highest mark.
Topped the 100 strikeout barrier in a season a league record six times, doing so in 1958 (144 K in 97.1 IP), 1960 (102 K in 96.1 IP), 1961 (143 K in 89.1 IP), 1962 (116 K in 85 IP), 1963 (153 K in 115.1 IP), and 1964 (108 K in 77.1 IP). Led the Chippewa Valley League in punch-outs four of those years (1958, 1961-1963). His streak of 5 seasons in a row (1960-1964) with over 100 strikeouts has never and may never matched. Won 7 or more games six times, leading the league in that category three times (1960, 1962, 1963), with a high of 11 wins in 1963. His career total of 59 wins still ranks 8th all-time. Led the then Chippewa Valley League in innings pitched in 1960 and 1963. Tied for the league lead in shutouts with 1 in 1955 and led the league with 2 in 1962.
Always a long-ball threat during his era, Cronin hit 2 homeruns in a season twice, leading the league with that total in 1963. That same year, he also led the league with 13 RBI’s.
Played a major role on 4 division winners, helping to turn the tide for Bloomer (1958, 1961, 1963) and Tilden (1960).
Played in eight All-Star games (1955, 1958-1964). Co-shares the single game league record for innings pitched with 16, doing so in a complete game, 4-1 loss to the Chippewa Falls Triangle Sports in 1958 during which he K’d 22 batters.