Sunday, June 7, 2009

1976 Topps #105 - Gary Lavelle

  • Gary Lavelle pitched in the majors from 1974--1987, mostly for the San Francisco Giants. He started in the Giants system in 1967 as an 18-year-old. He didn't pitch in very many games in 1968 (13) or 1969 (7). Gary spent 1970 and 1971 with AA Amarillo and then pitched three years for AAA Phoenix (1972-1974). It doesn't look like his stats merited a call up to the majors, but the PCL was a hitter's league so that probably distorted his ERA.

  • Lavelle was a September call-up to the Giants in 1974 and then stuck with the big club in 1975. He was used exclusively as a reliever except for three starts in 1981. Gary was 6-3 with 8 saves and a 2.95 ERA in 65 appearances in his first full season in 1975.

  • Lavelle had a lot of good seasons as a left-handed reliever. During his time with the Giants, Gary only had three years with an ERA above 3.00 (1978, 1980 and 1981) and his highest was 3.84. Gary was a two-time NL All-Star (1977 and 1983).

  • He was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays after the 1984 season and had one good year with them (5-7, 3.10, 8 saves). Gary had chronic elbow problems and he didn't pitch in 1986. He didn't do so well in 1987 (2-3, 5.91 with Toronto and Oakland). Gary resigned as a free agent with the A's after the 1987 season but didn't pitch again.
  • Lavelle was a pitching coach for the Yankees for five years. He is the baseball coach at Greenbrier Christian academy in Virginia. They have won three consecutive state championships. Here he is getting the Gatorade treatment. Gary also runs a summer baseball camp.


  1. Here's the info on the card show in Phoenix on Saturday.


  2. Thanks! I might be taking a road trip. :)