Where are they now: Darold Knowles

Where are they now: Darold Knowles

Seven years before he became the only pitcher to appear in all seven games of the World Series -- for the A's in 1973 -- Darold Knowles experienced his first success in the big leagues for the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium.

Still a rookie in 1966, after being acquired from the Orioles along with Jackie Brandt for pitcher Jack Baldschun over the previous offseason, the left-hander relieved starter Ray Herbert with one on and nobody out in the fourth. Knowles pitched the final six innings, gave up just one run and got the win.

By the end of the season, Knowles had made 69 appearances, ranking third in the league, and posted a 3.05 ERA.

Phillies alumni

"I had a decent year. Then Gene Mauch traded me [to the Washington Senators for Don Lock]," Knowles said with a laugh. "That's life in baseball. It was rewarding to me, because I was in the Major Leagues. I didn't want to get traded. But I did, and it wasn't the last time."

Knowles eventually pitched for seven teams in a career that spanned two decades, including 15 seasons in the big leagues. He appeared in 765 games, earned three World Series rings with the A's and made the American League All-Star team for the Senators in 1969.

After his playing days were over, Knowles returned to the Phillies. He was manager Nick Leyva's pitching coach in 1989-90, and he then spent nine more years in the system as a Minor League pitching coach.

Knowles is currently in his second year as the rehab pitching coach for the Blue Jays after originally being hired as pitching coach at Class A Dunedin prior to the 2006 season. He's had opportunities to move up, but at 74, Knowles prefers to stay close to his Florida home.

"And I still get to put on the uni every day. So that's good," Knowles said. "They call me the rehab pitching coach, but we have infielders, outfielders. We work with all of them along with the trainers. What we're trying to do is get everybody back on the field."

The 2016 season is Knowles' 56th in professional baseball and, of course, a lot has changed since he signed with the Orioles in 1961.

"It was a different era," Knowles said. "Mauch was the manager. We had a bunch of veterans. Jim Bunning was on that club. Great guy -- went on to become a great politician as well as a great pitcher, threw a no-hitter in both leagues. Larry Jackson. Dick Groat. Bill White. Guys like Cookie Rojas, Tony Taylor, Bob Uecker, Richie Allen -- Dick Allen now.

"It was one of those things where you didn't say much," Knowles said. "As a rookie, you kept your mouth shut. That's the way it was then. But I remember that they all treated me great."

When Knowles returned as a coach, the Phillies finished last in 1989 and tied for fourth in a six-team division the following year.

It was a time of transition. Knowles was there when future Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt unexpectedly retired during the Memorial Day weekend. He was also there when general manager Lee Thomas started building the foundation for the team that would go all the way to the World Series in 1993 with trades for players like Lenny Dykstra.

And Knowles was there when Terry Mulholland no-hit the Giants on Aug. 15, 1990.

"What I remember about Terry Mulholland is that he was a big, strong guy," Knowles recalled. "He just loved to work. I remember his first bullpen session. He threw 100 pitches. I said, 'This has got to stop. You're not going to last.' He said, 'This is what I always do.' And he was right.

"I have no bad memories from when I coached there, other than the fact our ballclubs weren't very good the two years I was up there. When you're a coach in the big leagues and you don't win, it's very frustrating. But we were trying. And the guys did hustle. I'll give them that. Then, fortunately, they offered me a job in the Minor Leagues and I stayed in baseball. And as the old saying goes, baseball has been very good to me."

Knowles is proudest of his longevity, but he knows that he'll most be remembered for pitching in every game of the World Series in 1973. Not only that -- he was on the mound to get the save in the decisive Game 7.

Future Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers was laboring, and with two outs in the ninth, the Mets had runners on first and third with the tying run at the plate. Knowles came in and got third baseman Wayne Garrett to pop out to shortstop, setting off the celebration.

"That was the most memorable moment I ever had in baseball," Knowles said. "It was just one of those things. [Manager] Dick Williams liked me, and the opportunity was there and he used me. I'll always appreciate that.

"I told him he was nuts. He took Rollie Fingers out to bring me in. And it worked."

Paul Hagen is a national columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.