As one of FCA’s charter members, Carl Erskine was one of the first Major League Baseball players to publicly utilize his platform to share the gospel. He remained an active FCA volunteer and supporter throughout his career and served on the National Board of Trustees.
Erskine first showed signs of athletic greatness at Anderson (IN) High School where he was a four-year letterwinner in both baseball and basketball. As a senior, he threw two no-hitters and led his team to the conference title. Erskine continued his baseball career at Anderson College before signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946. After two seasons in the minor leagues, he was called up to the big leagues in the summer of 1948 and never looked back.
For the next 12 years, Erskine anchored a Dodgers team that played in five World Series and won the franchise’s first title in 1955. In 1953, he won 20 games and tossed a record 14 strikeouts in Game 3 of the 1953 Fall Classic. Erskine pitched two career no-hitters (1952 and 1956) and was selected as a National League All-Star in 1954.
After his MLB retirement, Erskine became the head coach at his alma mater. Over 12 seasons, Anderson College won four Hoosier Conference championships and went 20-5 en route to the NAIA World Series in 1965. Erskine also enjoyed a successful corporate career as a bank executive and board member, advisor, and trustee for such organizations as Special Olympics, Babe Ruth Baseball, Anderson College, and the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT), a non-profit organization that assists former MLB, Minor League, and Negro League players with financial and medical difficulties.
A World War II Navy veteran, Erskine conducted numerous summer baseball camps and was an active member of the First Baptist Church of Anderson. The Carl D. Erskine Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine Center was named in his honor along with Erskine Elementary, which was built on property he donated to the Anderson Community School System.
In 1979, Erskine was inducted into the inaugural class of the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame. In 2010, Governor Mitch Daniels presented Erskine with the Sachem Award, the state’s highest honor, which recognizes a lifetime of excellence and moral virtue that has brought credit and honor to Indiana.