Wednesday, July 15, 2009

1976 Topps #144 - Al Fitzmorris

  • Al Fitzmorris pitched in the American League from 1969-1978. His best years were with the Kansas City Royals from 1973-1976. Al was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox. He was in the White Sox' system from 1966-1968 then was taken by the Royals in the expansion draft.
  • He had a good year in 1969 for AAA Omaha, was brought up at the end of the season, and pitched in seven games.

  • Fitzmorris was used by the Royals as a swingman from 1970-1972. He had seasons of 8-5, 4.44 (1970); 7-5, 4.17 (1971); and 2-5, 3.74 (1972).

  • Al started the 1973 season in Omaha. He was brought back to the Royals in mid-July and was 8-3 with a 2.83 ERA in 13 starts. Fitzmorris started 27 games for the Royals in 1974 and was 13-6 with a 2.79 ERA. He had his highest win total in 1975 (16-12, 3.57 ERA).

  • Al's last good season was in 1976. He was 15-11 with a 3.06 ERA in 33 starts. After the season Al was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the expansion draft. He never pitched for the Blue Jays -- Fitzmorris was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Alan Ashby and Doug Howard before the 1977 season.

  • Fitzmorris started 21 games for Cleveland in 1977. He was 6-10 with an ERA of 5.41. He went back to the bullpen in 1978 but was ineffective (0-1, 6.28 ERA in 7 games) and was released by the Indians on July 7. Al was picked up by the California Angels and pitched better (1-0, 1.71 ERA in 9 games).

  • After the 1978 season Al was granted free agency and signed with the San Diego Padres. He was assigned to AAA Hawaii. He was 2-2 in 8 starts for the Islanders but didn't make it back to the majors.

  • After his career Al spent some time as an analyst on Kansas City Royals broadcasts. He worked in sales positions in various companies and he currently owns an apparel company that manufactures youth league uniforms. He also has a production company that deals with music and writing. Here is a good interview with Al by Baseball Prospectus.

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