Saturday, January 30, 2010

1976 Topps #339 - John Denny

  • John Denny pitched in the majors from 1974-1986. Denny was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1970 as a 17-year-old out of Prescott High School in Arizona. He was in the minors from 1970-1974 and pitched in two games for the Cardinals in September 1974.
  • Denny started the 1975 season with the Cardinals. He went to the minors for six weeks in May and June and then came back to the Cards to stay. John was 10-7 with a 3.97 ERA in 24 starts for the Cardinals in 1975. Even as a young player Denny wasn't afraid to call 'em like he saw 'em, as this September 23, 1975 article from the Prescott Courier shows.
  • In 1976 John led the NL with a 2.52 ERA. He started 30 games and had an 11-9 record. Denny missed about five weeks of the 1977 season and started only 26 games (8-8, 4.51 ERA). John came back to have a good year in 1978. He was 14-11 with a 2.96 ERA in 34 starts.
  • John's last year with the Cardinals was 1979. He slumped to an 8-11 record and had a 4.85 ERA in 31 starts. After the 1979 season he and Jerry Mumphrey were traded to the Cleveland Indians for Bobby Bonds.
  • Denny was injured in 1980 and didn't pitch after July 15. He was 8-6 with a 4.39 ERA in 16 starts. John had a good year in 1981, going 10-6 with a 3.15 ERA in 19 starts. In 1982 John started with the Indians and was 6-11 with a 5.01 ERA. He was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies on September 12 for the stretch drive but he was 0-2 in four starts as the Phillies fell short.
  • John's best year was 1983. He won the Cy Young Award and led the NL with 19 wins. He was 19-6 with a 2.37 ERA in 36 starts. Denny started game 2 of the NLCS and lost to Fernando Valenzuela. In the 1983 World Series John won game 1 (the only win for the Phillies in the series) and lost game 4. Here is a December 4, 1983 article about John from The Prescott Courier.
  • Denny was hurt again in 1984 and missed about nine weeks. He pitched well when healthy, going 7-7 with a 2.45 ERA in 22 starts. John was 11-14 with a 3.82 ERA in 33 starts in 1985. After the 1985 season he was traded with Jeff Gray to the Cincinnati Reds for Gary Redus and Tom Hume.
  • In his only season with the Reds John was 11-10 with a 4.20 ERA in 27 starts. He became a free agent after the 1986 season but wasn't signed by anyone.
  • After his playing career John did some coaching. He coached for the Arizona Diamondbacks. John' son (also named John) runs a baseball training facility in Florida.
  • Liked to face: Bill Almon (.081 in 37 AB); Larry Parrish (.111 in 36 AB); Carlton Fisk (.000 in 13 AB)
  • Hated to face: Reggie Smith (.520 in 25 AB); Jack Clark (.467 in 30 AB); Claudell Washington (.452 in 31 AB)

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