Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Thursday, April 8, 2010

1976 Topps #407 - Tom Underwood

  • Tom Underwood pitched in the majors from 1974-1984. Tom was a High School Baseball All American in 1972. Underwood was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1972. Tom pitched in the minors from 1972 to 1974. He was brought up to the majors in August of 1974 and was 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA in 7 games.

  • In 1976 Tom didn't make a start until April 21 (he made two relief appearances before that game). He had a good start (0 runs in 5 innings) and won the game, but he got roughed up for 5 earned runs in 1/3 of an inning in his next start on April 27. Underwood became a reliever for the next month of the season. Tom rejoined the rotation on May 23 and was a starter (except for one relief appearance) for the rest of the season. Underwood ended up 10-5 with 2 saves and a 3.53 ERA in 33 games (25 starts). Tom appeared in the 9th inning of game 3 of the NLCS. He entered with the score tied and Dave Concepcion on first base. Cesar Geronimo walked and Ed Armbrister sacrificed the runners to 2nd and 3rd. Tom intentionally walked Pete Rose and then Ken Griffey singled to score Concepcion and send the Reds to the World Series.

  • Underwood started the 1977 season as a reliever for the Phillies. In 14 games Tom was 3-2 with a 5.13 ERA. On June 15 Tom was traded with Rick Bosetti and Dane Iorg to the St. Louis Cardinals for Bake McBride and Steve Waterbury. The Cardinals used Underwood as a starter and he was 6-9 with a 4.95 ERA in 16 starts. Underwood was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays after the 1977 season.

  • In 1978 Underwood was 6-14 with a 4.10 ERA in 30 starts.  Tom was 9-16 with a 3.69 ERA for the Blue Jays in 1979. On May 31 he pitched against his brother Pat, who was making his debut for the Detroit Tigers. After the 1979 season Tom was traded with Rick Cerone and Ted Wilborn to the New York Yankees for Chris Chambliss, Damaso Garcia, and Paul Mirabella.

  • Underwood went 13-9 with an ERA of 3.66 in 1980. He made two relief appearances in the 1980 ALCS without giving up an earned run. Underwood split time between the rotation and the bullpen for the Yankees in 1981. Tom was 1-4 with a 4.41 ERA when he was traded to the Oakland A's on May 20. Underwood pitched in 16 games (5 starts) for the A's and was 3-2 with 1 save and a 3.18 ERA. Tom pitched 1/3 of an inning in the 1981 ALDS and didn't give up any runs, but in the ALCS he gave up two runs in 1 1/3 innings in two appearances.

  • Tom was a swingman in 1982. He pitched in 56 games (10 starts) and was 10-6 with 7 saves and a 3.29 ERA. In 1983 he was 9-7 with 4 saves and a 4.04 ERA in 51 games (15 starts). Underwood became a free agent after the 1983 season and signed with the Baltimore Orioles. In 1984 he pitched in 37 games (1 start) and was 1-0 with 1 save and a 3.52 ERA. The Orioles released Underwood after the 1984 season.

  • Tom was named to Indiana High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1997. His brother Pat was named to the same HOF in 2005. Here is a note Tom wrote to a fan who requested his autograph. He now lives in West Palm Beach, FL.

  • Liked to face: Dusty Baker (.000 in 9 AB); Mike Anderson (.056 in 18 AB); Julio Cruz (.071 in 28 AB)
  • Hated to face: Dave Kingman (.583 with 3 HR in 12 AB); Gary Carter (.538 in 13 AB); Davey Lopes (.529 in 17 AB)

1 comment:

  1. This was one of my favorite Rookie Cup cards as a kid. It's funny which ones you pick out as favorites.