Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pitchers Who Played Other Positions, Part 4

Pitchers who played in the field during the final days of the season:

1. Bill Wegman, Milwaukee Brewers, October 1, 1995.

The last day of the 1995 season, and the final game of Wegman's career. With an 8-0 lead in the top of the 9th, as a reward for years of shagging fly balls in batting practice, Brewer manager Phil Garner brought Wegman in to play RF. Two balls were hit his way, a 418-foot homer and a solid single.

After the game, Wegman was all smiles, holding the lineup card "as proof that I got to play [outfield] in the major leagues. That's been my goal forever."

2. Randy Johnson, Seattle Mariners, October 3, 1993.

The last day of the 1993 season. Down 7-2 in the bottom of the 8th, Johnson was put in at LF. He wanted to play first base, but 1B Dave Magadan was due to bat in the top of the 9th. Johnson did not field a ball in the 8th.

3. Roger McDowell, Los Angeles Dodgers, October 6, 1991.

The last day of the 1991 season and the Dodgers had been eliminated the day before. McDowell played the 9th inning in LF and did not field a ball, as the Dodgers closed out a 2-0 win.

4. Don Robinson, Pittsburgh Pirates, September 30, 1984 (Game 2 of doubleheader).

On the final day of the 1984 season, Robinson started in LF and batted 3rd. He played the first 5 innings, catching 2 fly balls and going 1-3 with an RBI.

5. Rick Langford, Oakland A's, October 3, 1982.

The last day of the 1982 season. Langford entered the game in the bttom of the 5th, playing CF, and was shifted to LF in the 6th. He caught one lineout, and fielded a single. Langford was replaced after striking out in the top of the 8th.

6. Ron Guidry, New York Yankees, September 29, 1979.

The next-to-last day of the 1979 season (Guidry was the starting pitcher the next day). According to Yankee manager Billy Martin, Guidry "was talking about playing center field, so I asked him if he really wanted to." Guidry took Martin up on his offer, and with two outs in the top of the 9th, up 9-3, Guidry entered the game in CF. He did not field a ball, and the Yankees went on to win 9-4.

Note: At the same time Guidry entered the game, Don Hood replaced Tommy John at pitcher. (In fact, Guidry himself went to the mound to change pitchers, presaging his current role by 27 years.) By appearing in his 40th game, Hood earned a $5,000 bonus. I imagine Billy Martin was happy to make George Steinbrenner pay the money.

7. Bobby Shantz, New York Yankees, September 29, 1958 (Game 2 of doubleheader).

The last day of the 1958 season. Shantz had pitched the 7th and 8th, and moved to CF in the 9th. He caught one fly ball, as the Yankees won 6-3.

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