Thursday, August 14, 2014

#261 Bill Wegman

About the Front: I might have to get me a classic Brewers cap. Boy, did Milwaukee screw up their uniforms in 1994 or what?

About the Back: Wegman was the Brewers' ace in 1991, leading the team in ERA and tying Jaime Navarro for the most wins despite making a half-dozen less starts. It was obviously his big-league peak.

Triple Play:

1. On October 1, 1992, Bill earned the win in a 10-inning, complete-game four-hitter against Seattle. The Brewers won 7-2, exploding for five runs in the extra frame.

2. He earned his only career ejection on June 29, 1995, bringing an end to a disastrous relief outing in which he retired two batters before allowing five straight batters to reach and four runs to score. The big blow was a three-run homer by Chicago's Ray Durham; Wegman followed that blast by plunking Ron Karkovice, causing the benches to clear and earning the heave-ho. Manager Phil Garner argued the ejection and was tossed as well. In the ninth inning, Rob Dibble entered the game for the Sox with a 17-10 lead and threw his first pitch over Pat Listach's head, touching off another fracas that saw Dibble and Listach both sent off to the showers. A Milwaukee rally fell short and the White Sox won a 17-13 slugfest.

3. He was known for his good control, finishing top-six in the American League in fewest walks per nine innings five times in eight full seasons in his career.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: One of my favorite baseball movies from this era was "Little Big League", in which a baseball-crazed kid roughly my age became the manager of the Minnesota Twins. Giving in to the pleas of one of his best friends, he started Bill Wedman, a journeyman pitcher, in the season-ending do-or-die game. I always wondered if Wegman was the inspiration for that character.

Bill James Said: "After pitching quite well for two years, he was bothered by an ulcer and a hiatal hernia."

On This Date in 1993: August 14. Righty pitcher Bobby Jones makes his MLB debut for the Mets, earning the win with six innings of five-run ball (one earned run) in a 9-5 victory over the Phillies. New York wins despite committing four errors, as rookie utilityman Tim Bogar hits two home runs and two doubles and drives in four.

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