Saturday, January 10, 2015

#353 Buddy Groom

About the Front: The dugouts in Tiger Stadium were in desperate need of a fresh coat of paint in 1992.

About the Back: Here you see evidence of the first dozen of Buddy Groom's eventual career total of 786 games pitched, and yet this was the only base set card that he ever got from Topps. Heck, he even holds the record for most career games without a single plate appearance. Say it with me: LOOGYs are people too!

Triple Play:

1. After losing his first nine career decisions, he finally earned a win in his fourth big league season, with 5.2 innings of one-hit ball against the Rangers on May 12, 1995. He also walked four and struck out only two, but who's counting?

2. As I hinted above, Buddy found a niche as a lefty specialist out of the bullpen, primarily for the Athletics and Orioles. He averaged 70 appearances (and 59 innings pitched) for those two clubs from 1996 through 2004.

3. Groom signed with the Yankees in 2005, but was shipped out in July after crafting a 4.91 ERA and 1.52 ERA in 24 appearances. He bashed manager Joe Torre on his way out, complaining that he was only used for mop-up work because he wasn't one of "Joe's boys".

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I can swear that I saw his named misprinted as "Bubby" Groom somewhere, whether it was a Beckett checklist, a card itself, or something else. I was very amused.

Bill James Said: "His real name is 'Wedsel', which is a good excuse to skip Mother's Day."

On This Date in 1993: January 9. British track and field Olympian Katarina Johnson-Thompson is born in Liverpool.

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