Friday, July 17, 2009

1976 Topps #146 - George Medich

  • George "Doc" Medich pitched for several teams from 1972-1982. Medich was in medical school in the early 1970s, hence the nickname. He went on to become an orthopedic surgeon. Doc went into the stands twice during his career to aid fans who had suffered heart attacks. He performed CPR on one fan in 1976 (the fan died later in the day) and in 1978 he revived a man who was suffering a heart attack (the man lived for several more years).
  • Medich started his career in the New York Yankees system in 1970. After going 11-3 with a 1.44 ERA for AA West Haven, he was brought up in September 1972 and started one game. He faced four batters, walked two of them, allowed hits to the other two, and left without retiring a batter.
  • The 1973 season was much kinder to George. He finished in third place (Al Bumbry won it with a .337 batting average) in AL Rookie of the Year balloting. Medich had a record of 14-9 with a 2.95 ERA. He followed that season with a 19-15 record with a 3.60 ERA in 1974. He got a decision in 34 of his 38 starts that season.
  • George went 16-16 with a 3.50 ERA in 1975. In both 1974 and 1975 he pitched over 270 innings. All of the work may have affected him---he pitched over 200 innings only one more time in his career. After the 1975 season Medich was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a multi-player deal that brought Willie Randolph to the Yankees.
  • Medich was 8-11 with a 3.52 ERA for the Pirates in 1976. In 1977 he pitched for three different teams. Before the season George was traded to the Oakland A's in a multi-player deal that netted the Pirates Phil Garner. The A's also got Tony Armas and Rick Langford in the trade. Doc spent most of the season with the A's (10-6, 4.69 in 25 starts). He was purchased by the Seattle Mariners on September 13, started three games, then was waived and picked up by the New York Mets, where he lost his only start.
  • George became a free agent after the 1977 season and signed with the Texas Rangers. He pitched for the Rangers from 1978 to the middle of the 1982 seasons. His best season for the Rangers was in 1981 (10-6, 3.06 ERA, a league-leading four shutouts).
  • The 1982 season was the last one for Medich. He started with the Rangers and was 7-11 with a 5.06 ERA when he was purchased by the Milwuakee Brewers for the stretch run on August 11. George started 10 games for the Brewers and was 5-4 with an ERA of 5.00. He pitched in one game in the 1982 World Series and got blasted (four earned runs in two innings). Medich retired after the 1982 season.
  • After his career Medich was a successful orthopedic surgeon, but he struggled with drug addiction for several years. It caught up with him in 2001 when he pleaded guilty to 12 counts of illegall possession of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to nine years probation.
  • AAOS (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons)
George F. Medich, MD
Aliquippa, Penn
In March 2002, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine suspended the license to practice medicine of George F. Medich, MD, for one year. This action followed Dr. Medich’s guilty plea to 12 counts of knowingly or intentionally possessing a controlled substance obtained through prescriptions written in the names of patients. Dr. Medich received nine years of probation for these misdemeanors. As of April 2006, Dr. Medich’s medical license remains suspended in Pennsylvania. The AAOS Board of Directors voted to expel Dr. Medich from the AAOS.

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