Thursday, October 9, 2014

#297 Jeff Innis

About the Front: Hey, it's sidearmer Jeff Innis! Thanks to the horizontal layout, we can see a blurry first base umpire, an Astros coach, and half of the Mets first baseman (most likely Eddie Murray). Whoever the other Met is, it looks like he's doing some sort of complicated dance, probably meant to confuse the first base coach, thereby causing him to give poor advice to any potential runners. If you ask me, they'd be better off trying the hidden ball trick. But what do I know?

About the Back: If Topps just wanted to cherry-pick a highlight from the previous season, they could have gone with Innis' effort on July 10, 1992. He shut out the Astros for three innings, and earned the win when Eddie Murray's three-run double erased a 6-4 deficit in the ninth.

Triple Play:

1. Jeff earned a degree in psychology from the University of Illinois, and reportedly kept things loose in the Mets clubhouse by doing uncanny impressions of teammates, team employees, and the like.

2. He honed his craft in the minors under the tutelage of a couple of ex-big league pitchers: Lynchburg coach Jim Bibby altered Innis' delivery from submarine to a low sidearm angle. Jackson coach Glenn Abbott taught him to throw a sinker.

3. Since retiring, Innis has sold commercial insurance to businesses. He and his ex-wife Kelly have two children, Keenan and Shannon.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: Besides his unconvential pitching style, Innis stood out to me as one of the few major leaguers whose last name began with an "i". In the mid-90s, it was just him, Pete Incaviglia, Mike Ignasiak, Garey Ingram, and Jason Isringhausen.

Bill James Said: "Here's a question for you: did ground-ball pitchers, as a group, have a poor year in 1993?" Innis did, as he posted a career-worst 4.11 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in what turned out to be his final season in the majors.

On This Date in 1993: October 9. Scotty McCreery, winner of the tenth season of American Idol, is born. You darned kids better get off of my lawn.

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