Friday, July 24, 2009

1976 Topps # 153 - Buzz Capra

  • Lee "Buzz" Capra pitched for the New York Mets from 1971-1977. He started in the Mets' system in 1969. He worked his way up the ladder and earned a September call-up after going 16-3 with a 1.88 ERA for two teams in 1971. Buzz was 0-1 with an 8.44 ERA in three games at the end of the '71 season.
  • Capra spent the 1972 season on a shuttle between AAA Tidewater and the Mets. He didn't pitch for the Mets after July 7. Buzz finished the 1972 season in Tidewater and ended up with a 3-2 record for the Mets.
  • Buzz started the 1973 season in Tidewater and made ten starts before being called back up to the Mets. He went 2-7 with a 3.86 ERA in 24 games for the Mets and did not appear in the postseason.
  • On March 26, 1974 Capra was purchased by the Atlanta Braves. It ended up being a good buy for the Braves as Buzz had his career year in 1974. He was 16-8 with an NL-leading 2.28 ERA and made the NL All Star team. Here is a 1974 Sports Illustrated article about Capra and Tom House.
  • “There have been a lot of players who have had one good season and then were never heard from again. I don’t want that to happen to me.” – Buzz Capra, April 1975 (Baseball Digest article)
  • Capra started only 12 games in 1975 (4-7, 4.25) and didn't pitch after June 8 after hurting his shoulder. He started four games for AAA Richmond in 1976 and then pitched in five games for the Braves in September (0-1, 8.68). Buzz was used as a swingman in 1977 (45 games, 16 starts) and went 6-11 with a 5.36 ERA. He was released by the Braves just before the 1978 season.
  • After his playing career Buzz was a pitching coach in the Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies' systems.

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