Sunday, August 2, 2009

1976 Topps #163 - Jim Slaton

  • Jim Slaton pitched in the American League from 1971-1986. He spent most of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers and is still the club leader in all-time victories with 117.
  • Slaton was drafted by the Seattle Pilots in 1969. He pitched at the A level in 1969. He didn't pitch much in 1970 (2 starts), probably due to military service. In 1971 Jim made the team (now the Brewers) in spring training but was sent down in May. After making four starts for AAA Evansville he came back to the Brewers and had a record of 10-8 with a 3.78 ERA in 23 starts.
  • Jim got off to a rough start in 1972 (1-6, 5.52 in eight starts) and was sent back to Evansville, where he spent the remainder of the season. Slaton bounced back in 1973 by going 13-15 with a 3.71 ERA in 38 starts for an awful Brewers team. He had a very similar year in 1974 (13-16, 3.92 in 35 starts). The 1975 season wasn't good for Slaton as he went 11-18 with a 4.52 ERA in 33 starts.
  • Slaton did better in 1976 (14-15, 3.44 in 38 starts) and then was named to the 1977 All Star game. Jim was 10-14 in 1977 with an ERA of 3.58.
  • After the 1977 season Slaton was traded (with Rich Folkers) to the Detroit Tigers for Ben Oglivie. He had one of his best seasons in 1978 as he had a career-high 17 wins in 34 starts. After the season he was granted free agency and came back to the Brewers. Jim had another good season in 1979 (15-9, 3.63 in 31 starts).
  • Slaton was the opening day starter for the Brewers in 1980 but he must have had an injury that year. He started only three games and didn't pitch after May 4. Jim came back in 1981 and went 5-7 with a 4.37 ERA in 21 starts. He pitched in four games in the American League Divisional Series but had no decisions.
  • In 1982 Jim was a swingman (39 games, 7 starts) and was effective (10-6, 3.29 ERA, 6 saves). He appeared in the American League Championship Series and won game 4 of the World Series in a relief appearance. Slaton was used exclusively as a reliever in 1983 and was 14-6 with a 4.33 ERA in 46 games.
  • After the 1983 season Jim was traded to the California Angels for Bobby Clark. He went 7-10 with a 4.97 ERA for the Angels in 1984. Jim was 6-10 with a 4.37 ERA in 1985. He started poorly in 1986 (4-6, 5.65 ERA) and was released by the Angels on June 30. The Tigers picked him up on July 14 and Jim made 22 relief appearances to finish the season. The Tigers released him after the season and he retired.
  • After his pitching career Slaton coached for various major and minor league teams. He is now the pitching coach for the LA Dodgers' AAA Albuquerque Isotopes.

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