Lafayette Drillers Flashback: Eugene Lanthorn
The Lafayette Drillers, a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, called Lafayette, Louisiana their home for two years, from 1975-1976.
The Drillers, who played their home games at Clark Field, were co-champions of the Texas League in 1975 with the Midland Cubs, finishing 72-57, before going 58-76 in 1976, the last year of affiliated professional baseball in Lafayette.
A number of outstanding players, who eventually made it into Major League Baseball ranks played at Clark Field in 1975 & 1976, including five former Lafayette Driller players.
All summer long, we’re taking a look back at some of the former players for the Drillers.
Today, pitcher Eugene Lanthorn.
Lanthorn was a relief pitcher pitcher for the Drillers in both the 1975 and 1976 seasons.
After attending Western Oregon University in Monmouth, Oregon, Lanthorn was selected in the 35th round of the Major League Baseball Draft by the San Francisco Giants in 1972 at the age of 21.
The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Lanthorn made minor league stops in Seattle, Washington and Portland, Oregon, before joining the Drillers in 1975 at the age of 24.
With Lafayette, Lanthorn pitched in 20 games in ’75, all but one as a reliever, going 5-4 with a 3.19 earned run average, along with four saves.
In 48 innings pitched, Lanthorn allowed 41 hits, 17 earned runs, and 15 walks, while striking out 21 hitters.
In 1976, Lanthorn, a right-hander, returned to Lafayette, compiling an overall record of 3-4, with a 4,18 record, and four saves.
Lanthorn pitched one more year of professional baseball after his stint in Lafayette, spending the 1977 season in Waterbury, Connecticut, before retiring, having never made it past the AA level.
Lanthorn concluded his 6-year professional career going 44-28 with a 3.26 ERA, and 13 saves, over 145 appearances.