Sunday, August 9, 2009

1976 Topps #170 - Rick Wise

  • Rick Wise pitched for five teams from 1964-1982. He had a lifetime record of 188-181 and a 3.69 ERA. He was signed by the Philadelphia Phillies in 1963 and pitched well in single-A ball as a 17-year-old. Wise made the Phillies in 1964 and was 5-3 with a 4.04 ERA in 25 appearances (8 starts). Rick spent 1965 in the minors and was promoted to the Phillies to stay in 1966.
  • Wise was a 5th starter/reliever in 1966 but after that he was almost exclusively a starter for the rest of his career. He was generally in double figures in both wins and losses with pretty good ERAs for the Phillies from 1967-1971. Rick had a few highlights in 1971--he no-hit the Cincinnati Reds on June 23 and hit two home runs in that game. He homered twice in an August 18 game against the San Francisco Giants. On September 18 vs. the Chicago Cubs he retired 32 batters in a row (4 short of the record) and knocked in the winning run in the 12th inning.
  • After the 1971 season Gussie Busch (owner of the St. Louis Cardinals) ordered his GM to trade Steve Carlton after a contract dispute. The best offer the Cardinals got was Rick Wise. So Rick ended up in St. Louis and Carlton had a Hall of Fame career with the Phillies. Rick won 16 games in both 1972 and 1973, but it was still a very lopsided trade (article about the trade here).
  • Wise was traded with Bernie Carbo to the Boston Red Sox after the 1973 season for Reggie Smith and Ken Tatum. He pitched on a very cold day in Boston and hurt his arm (torn triceps), which wrecked his 1974 season. Rick started only nine games that season. In 1975 Rick won 19 games for the Red Sox, won game 3 of the American League Championship Series, and was the winner of the famous game 6 of the 1975 World Series.
  • Wise won 14 games in 1976 and 11 games in 1977, but he started only 20 games in '77. On March 30, 1978 Rick was traded to the Cleveland Indians in a multi-player trade that netted the Red Sox Dennis Eckersley. He led the AL in losses with 19 as he pitched for a bad Cleveland team. He ended up 9-19 with a 3.73 ERA. Rick rebounded in 1979 to go 15-10. Wise became a free agent after the 1979 season and signed with the San Diego Padres.
  • Rick didn't do a whole lot with the Padres. In 1980 he was 6-8 in 27 starts and in 1981 he was 4-8 in 18 starts. The Padres released him on April 16, 1982 after he pitched in one game in relief. Wise had a guaranteed contract that paid him through the 1984 season so he took advantage of the time off and enjoyed his summers. From 1985-2008 he coached and managed a little in the minor leagues. He retired from coaching after the 2008 season.
  • Trivia: Rick Wise was one of the few players to play in both the Little League World Series (1958) and the major league World Series (1975). He also pitched in the Babe Ruth League World Series in 1961.
  • Rick was an NL All Star in 1971 and 1973. As the card says, he was the winning pitcher in the 1973 game.
  • Here is a September 2001 Baseball Digest about Rick looking back on his career.
  • Here is his SABR biography.

1 comment:

  1. I was at the game in Cincy, when Wise pitched a no-hitter and hit 2 HR's. That winter when he was traded to the Cards for Steve Carlton, I thought the Phillies were crazy!