Wednesday, May 9, 2012

#210 Calvin Schiraldi

Card thoughts: Calvin Schiraldi does not deserve a card ending in 0. And that is a most bent over follow through. Is he ducking a line drive?

The player: Schiraldi was a hotshot young pitching phenom when this card was issued. This would be his only Topps card as a Met, however, as he was traded to the Red Sox the following season for #11 Bobby Ojeda, among others.

The Red Sox certainly got value out of Schiraldi during the regular season. After being called up from the AAA affiliate mid-season, he posted a sparkling 1.41 ERA and was the team’s closer by the end of the season. Unfortunately, that success was not translated into the World Series. While Schiraldi was fine in the ALCS with a 1.50 ERA over 6 innings of work, he imploded against the Mets. Of the three games Schiraldi appeared in, he saved 1, lost 2 (including the infamous Game 6) and carried a lugubrious ERA of 13.50 for the series. Boston fans never forgave him.

After a disappointing year the following season as a middle reliever with a heavy workload (ERA: 4.41 over 83+ innings), Schiraldi was traded to the Cubs with #181 Al Nipper for star closer Lee Smith—because we all know the Cubs needed World Series goat to “help” their team. The Cubs converted Schiraldi back into a starter (although he was supposed to replace Smith at closer), where he showed a good strikeout rate, but little else, going 9-13 with a 4.38 ERA.

Schiraldi was back in the pen the following year, but his real value to the Cubs came in August when he was offloaded to the Padres for stretch run hero #103 Luis Salazar and speedster Marvelle Wynne. Back in the rotation for the Padres, he pitched well for the rest of season, compiling a 3-1 record with a 2.58 ERA over 4 starts.

Apparently, the Padres believed that record was a fluke, and he was back in a middle relief role the following season, with his ERA around 4 as usual.

In 1991, late in spring training, Schiraldi was released by the Padres and wound up signing a minor league deal with Texas. A miserable 11.57 ERA in extremely limited duty got him released by the Rangers. Schiraldi was picked up by another Texas team that season, the Astros, but he never pitched above AAA with them.

Schiraldi today coaches baseball at a Catholic high school in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

Rear guard: Ed Charles was an interesting guy. Stuck in the minors for 10 years (mostly in the segregated South), he wrote poetry about racism and baseball. Charles was the Mets regular third baseman the season he hit his two pinch home runs, a feat even more impressive as they came on successive days. For the record, Charles had only 19 career pinch hits. Here's his card from '69.

This date in baseball history: The entire Cardinals bench was ejected from a game against the Astros in 1979 by a substitute umpire after bats and helmets were thrown on the field. No word on how the game was finished.


Cory said...

True story. Jerk knocked me down when I was waiting with a crowd after a game to get an auto.

Siad he didn't see me but he was looking at me when he hit me.

Didn't sign for anybody. Just got on the team bus after a game in St. Louis.

I still hate that douche.

Dean Family said...

I remember when this card was a major rookie card to have for about a month in 1986. Until the World Series, that is.