Monday, November 4, 2013

#99 Mike Williams

I intended to post this card on Thursday, before I left for a weekend trip. Then I thought I might be able to finish it while I was away. The best-laid plans...

About the Front:  Correct me if I'm wrong, but it looks like Mike Williams is pitching in Dodger Stadium. Now that I check his 1992 Game Log, I see that the righty appeared in only five games for the Phillies, and only two of those were on the road: at Los Angeles and at San Diego. On July 5, Williams earned his first career win in a 9-3 decision by going the distance against the Dodgers. He allowed only three hits, but a Mickey Morandini error led to a pair of unearned runs. At any rate, that seems like the kind of game that's worth putting to cardboard.
About the Back: It looks like Mike got the Phillies' attention by winning 9 of his 10 starts at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Pretty underwhelming strikeout totals, though.

Triple Play:

1. Mike joined the Pirates in 1998, and spent the greater part of five seasons as the team's closer. In that time, he earned 140 of his 144 career saves and made back-to-back All-Star teams in 2002 (when he saved 46 of the Bucs' 72 wins) and 2003. In the latter season, he had an abominable 1-7 record with a 6.14 ERA and had an even worse mark of 6.44 at the break. He is still the only pitcher to be chosen for the Midsummer Classic with an ERA above six. Viva the one-player-per-team minimum and baseball's closer fixation!

2. His agent was Bean Stringfellow, who may or may not actually be a minor Harry Potter character.

3. Williams still lives in Giles County, Virginia, in the area where he grew up. He is reportedly active with local Relay for Life charitable causes.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I was a uniform buff from the start. It would've been nice to see the Phils use "Mk. Williams" and "Mt. Williams" on the jersey nameplates of the two M. Williamses on their pitching staff in the early 1990s, but they weren't that particular.

Bill James Said: "Grade C prospect; unlikely to start for the Phillies, but I would not be surprised to see him emerge as a middle reliever."

On This Date in 1993: November 4. A China Airlines Boeing 747 overruns Runway 13 at Hong Kong's Kai Tak International Airport in the midst of a typhoon. 22 people are injured.

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