Thursday, July 16, 2015

#452 Bob Wickman

About the Front: I can't even remember a time when Bob Wickman looked that svelte.

About the Back: The other players in that Steve Sax trade were pitchers Domingo Jean and Melido Perez, both of whom went from Chicago to New York, making it a three-for-one deal.

Triple Play:

1. According to Wikipedia (buyer beware), Bob was a jack of all athletic trades in high school, active in football, baseball, basketball, swimming, horseback riding, tennis, and table tennis.

2. On July 29, 2000, the Brewers held a Bob Wickman poster giveaway. However, the team had just traded him to the Indians in a seven-player trade that brought Richie Sexson to Milwaukee, so the hefty pitcher sent his mother and grandmother to the Brewers game in his stead.

3. Bob was a closer for the last decade of his 15-year major league career, retiring after the 2007 season with a total of 267 saves, 31st on the all-time list as of this writing. His high-water mark came in 2005 with the Indians, when he led the American League with 45 saves and posted a 2.47 ERA.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I think it took me a few years to learn that Wickman lost the tip of his index finger in a childhood farming accident. It wasn't quite as obvious as Jim Abbott's physical differences.

Bill James Said: "Showalter was smart enough to realize that his luck was going to run out sooner or later, and moved him to middle relief in the middle of the season." Bob went 14-4 in 1993, but with a 4.63 ERA and a 70-69 strikeout-walk ratio.

On This Date in 1993: July 16. The Expos and Rockies swap pitchers, with lefty Butch Henry going to Montreal and righty Kent Bottenfield heading to Colorado.

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