Charles Oliver "Charlie" Hough (/ˈhʌf/; born January 5, 1948 in Honolulu, Hawaii) is a former Major League Baseball knuckleball pitcher. He is currently a senior adviser of player development for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Hough was drafted out of Hialeah High School in the 8th round of the 1966 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. After pitching in the low minor leagues from 1967 to 1969 with the Ogden Dodgers, Santa Barbara Dodgers and Albuquerque Dodgers with limited success, Hough's career and fortunes changed dramatically when he learned how to throw a knuckleball in spring training in 1970, leading to a successful season with the Spokane Indians in AAA, where he led the Pacific Coast League in saves and posted a 1.95 ERA.
He made his major league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1970 but did not join the Dodgers bullpen full-time until the 1973 season. He became a top reliever for the Dodgers from 1973 until he was sold to the Texas Rangers in 1980. With the Dodgers, he was one of the pitchers who served up one of the three home runs that New York Yankees slugger Reggie Jackson hit on three straight pitches in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series.
He was converted into a starting pitcher in Texas, where he pitched from 1980 to 1990, making his only All-Star team in 1986. He left Texas as the franchise leader in wins, strikeouts, complete games and losses. He was famous for his "dancing knuckleball" pitch that he threw around 80% of the time. Hough complemented his knuckleball with a fastball and slider. Hough additionally was well known for throwing a large number of complete games each season and led the league in 1984 with 17.
In 1987 Hough, pitching to Gino Petralli, put Petralli in the record books as Petralli committed four passed balls in one inning to tie the major league record of Ray Katt, catching knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm in 1954. The record was later tied by Ryan Lavarnway of the Boston Red Sox in 2013, catching knuckleballer Steve Wright in his first major league start.
He pitched for the Chicago White Sox from 1991 to 1992, where, at 43 years old, he found himself pitching to 43-year-old Carlton Fisk.
He joined the expansion Florida Marlins for the 1993 season and started the first regular season game in team history on April 5, pitching six innings for the win as the Marlins defeated the Dodgers 6-3. He retired at age 46 after the 1994 season. He was the last active player to have been born in the 1940s.
During a 25-season career, Hough compiled 216 wins, 2,362 strikeouts and a 3.75 earned run average. His 216 wins ranks 82nd all-time on the all-time win list, tied with Wilbur Cooper and Curt Schilling.
- 1996–1998: Pitching Coach for the San Bernardino Stampede
- 1998–1999: Pitching Coach for the Los Angeles Dodgers
- 2001–2002: Pitching Coach for the New York Mets
- 2006: Pitching Coach for the Fullerton Flyers
- 2007–2010: Pitching Coach for the Inland Empire 66ers