1961 North St. Paul graduate and former Houston Astros pitcher Don Arlich was born in Wayne, Michigan on February 15, 1943.
Arlich went 15-0 for the 1961 State Champion North High Polars—a team that also featured Twins curator Clyde Doepner.
Arlich signed with Houston out of high school. He made his major league debut on October 2, 1965 at age 22, starting the second-to-last game of the season versus the St. Louis Cardinals at the Astrodome. The first batter he faced was 1961 St. Cloud Rox star Lou Brock, who popped out to shortstop leading off a 1-2-3 first inning. Arlich held the Cardinals to two runs on five hits and a walk over six innings, and was in line for the win before St. Louis rallied against the Houston bullpen.
Arlich made it back to the majors in July 1966, making seven relief appearances, giving up nine runs (seven earned) on eleven hits and four walks over four innings pitched.
Perhaps Arlich’s greatest contribution to the major league history books was helping a young Joe Morgan learn to hit lefties while they were both in the Houston organization.
Arlich stuck it out in the minors until 1969, playing his final two and a half seasons in the Atlanta organization.
Following his nine-year pro baseball career, Arlich became a math teacher at Park High School in Cottage Grove, MN. One of his students included the actor Seann William Scott (Stifler in American Pie).
Though Mr. Arlich never had him in class, eight-year major leaguer Kerry Ligtenberg graduated from Park High School in 1989.