Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Saturday, April 24, 2010

1976 Topps #419 - Reggie Cleveland

  • Reggie Cleveland pitched for four teams from 1969-1981. During his career Reggie had trouble with his weight and “living the major league lifestyle.” Cleveland was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1965 and pitched in the minors from 1966-1970. Reggie started a game for the Cardinals on October 1, 1969 and allowed four runs in four innings (he didn’t get a decision in that game).

  • Reggie came to the majors to stay in August of 1970. He pitched in 16 games (1 start) that year for the Cardinals and was 0-4 with a 7.62 ERA. Cleveland became a regular starting pitcher in 1971. He went 12-12 with a 4.01 ERA in 34 starts in 1971.

  • Reggie was a pretty solid starter for the Cards for the next two seasons. In 1971 he was 14-15 with a 3.94 ERA in 33 starts. Cleveland was 14-10 with a 3.01 ERA in 1973. After the 1973 season Cleveland was traded to the Boston Red Sox in a multi-player trade.

  • In 1974 Cleveland reported to camp overweight and with a bad knee. He started the season as a long reliever but eventually started 27 games and relieved in 14 more. Reggie went 12-14 with a 4.31 ERA.

  • Reggie made 31 appearances (20 starts) in 1975 and was 13-9 with a 4.43 ERA. He had a DUI incident on the night of June 29 – Reggie rolled his car in Boston’s Summer Tunnel and needed stitches around his mouth and right ear. The incident went unreported and Cleveland pitched the next day. Cleveland started game 2 of the 1975 ALCS and allowed 3 runs in 5 innings (he didn’t get the decision). He made a relief appearance in game 3 of the 1975 World Series and became the first Canadian-born pitcher to start a World Series game when he started game 5. Cleveland took the loss in that game. He appeared in the 9th inning of game 7 and would have been in line for the win if Boston had been able to make a comeback. The Red Sox lost the game 4-3.

  • In 1976 Cleveland spent more time in the bullpen than in the rotation. He made 41 appearances (14 starts) and was 10-9 with a 3.07 ERA. Reggie was in 36 games (27 starts) in 1977 and went 11-8 with a 4.26 ERA. On September 25 Cleveland allowed 18 hits in a 12-5 complete game victory over the Detroit Tigers.

  • Cleveland was sold to the Texas Rangers for $125,000 early in the 1978 season after making one relief appearance for the Red Sox. Reggie was the 11th man on a 10-man Red Sox staff. Reggie made 53 appearances (all in relief) for the Rangers in 1978. He went 5-7 with 12 saves and had a 3.09 ERA. Rangers owner Brad Corbett was having some money problems and Reggie was sold to the Milwaukee Brewers for $200,000 after the 1978 season.

  • Cleveland wasn’t happy about the trade and reported to the Brewers camp in 1979 with a sour attitude and a larger waistline. He went 1-5 with a 6.71 ERA in 29 games (1 start). Reggie turned things around during the winter of 1979-1980 and reported to the 1980 spring training camp one week early and 25 pounds lighter. Cleveland pitched in 45 games (13 starts) and went 11-9 with a 3.73 ERA.

  • In 1981 Reggie had a tough time. He over-trained to get ready after the strike and developed tendonitis in his pitching arm. He was also drinking more and having family problems. Cleveland made 35 relief appearances in 1981 and was 2-3 with a 5.15 ERA. Reggie was released after the 1981 season and retired.

  • After his baseball career Cleveland moved back to Canada with his second wife. One of his sons (John) was a three-time Olympic swimmer for Canada, and the other son (Todd) played shortstop for the University of North Florida. Reggie sold cars for several years and then was a minor league pitching coach for a few years in the early 1990s. Cleveland became a US citizen in 1980 and moved to Dallas in 2005. He sells cars for Park Place Lexus in Dallas.

  • Liked to face: Cleon Jones (.000 in 11 AB); Freddie Patek (.042 in 24 AB); Larry Bowa (.119 in 42 AB)

  • Hated to face: Kiko Garcia (.563 in 16 AB); Tim McCarver (.519 in 27 AB); Mickey Rivers (.441 in 34 AB)

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