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Ad Liska

Ad Liska - Baseball

Born and bred in Nebraska, Ad Liska fished in the Major Leagues for all or parts of five seasons before settling in Portland for 14 seasons with the Beavers, earning a spot in the hearts of Oregonians and the Pacific Coast League in that time.

Following his graduation from Dwight, Neb., High in 1925, Liska spent a short time teaching elementary school, and pitched briefly for the University of Nebraska before he found his way to the Lincoln, Neb., Links of the Western League in 1926 at age 19. Two seasons later, he went 20-4 for the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association, which caught the attention of the Washington Senators.

Liska played full seasons with the Senators in 1929 and ’30 and with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1933. In ’33 he went 3-1 and led the National League in games finished with 25, although they were for a team that won just 60 games and finished last in attendance with an average of just over 2,000 fans per game. His one win of the season came on the last of his 25 relief appearances. He also played part of the 1931 season with the Senators and the ‘32 season with the Phillies.

In his five seasons in the Majors, Liska compiled a record of 17 wins, 18 losses and three saves with a 3.87 ERA in 111 appearances. He started 28 games.

After two seasons in the minors back East and in the Midwest, Liska settled in with the Beavers and the PCL in 1936 at age 29 as a right-handed, submarine-style pitcher. He didn’t retire until 1949 at age 42.

As a regular starter at Vaughn Street Ballpark, Liska won 15 or more games nine times. He won 20 or more games three times, including 24 in 1937. In 1936, he went 15-12 as the Beavers finished atop the league standings and won the PCL championship series over the Oakland Oaks. In 1945, he went 20-12 with a 2.34 ERA as the Beavers finished atop the regular season standings at 112-68.

In his 14 seasons with the Beavers, Liska finished 198-194 and ended all but one season with an ERA under 4.00.

In 1950, he managed the Salem Senators to a 57-92 record then began a long career in the postal service. He died in Portland in 1998.

Liska was voted into the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame in 1982 and elected to the PCL Hall of Fame in 2003.