Bob Friend, who graduated from Westside in 1949, pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates from 1951-1965 after playing just one year of minor league baseball. He threw his final season with the New York Yankees and New York Mets. Nicknamed “Warrior,” while playing football for the Red Devils, he was the first pitcher to have a leading ERA (2.83) while pitching for a last place team. Friend led the National League in starts each season from 1956 through 1958, innings in 1956 and 1957, and tied with Warren Spahn for the National League lead with 22 wins in 1958. An All-Star for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Friend holds their greatest number of pitching records, including the most strikeouts, most games started and most innings pitched. He also was one of only two NY Mets pitchers to defeat Sandy Koufax. He shares the National League record with two All-Star Game victories (1956 and 1960), and lost the 1958 All-Star Game as a reliever. Friend also pitched in games two and six in the dramatic 1960 Yankee-Pirate World Series.
A Purdue graduate, Friend served as a player representative for both Pittsburgh and the National League. After retiring, he worked as controller of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania from 1967 to 1975. He concluded his career working at an insurance brokerage, for which he was named vice president. Friend lives in Pittsburgh, and has been a three-time delegate to the Republican National Convention.