Wednesday, August 12, 2009

1976 Topps #173 - Steve Swisher

  • Steve Swisher caught for three teams from 1974-1982. He was originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in 1973. Steve was traded to the Chicago Cubs after the 1973 season with Steve Stone, Ken Frailing, and Jim Kremmel for Ron Santo.
  • Steve played for three teams in the White Sox' system in 1973. In 1974 he started with the Cubs' AAA Wichita club. Swisher was brought up to the Cubs in June. The Cubs must have had a real need at catcher -- Steve was batting only .196 for Wichita at the time of his promotion. Swisher played in 90 games for the Cubs in 1974 and batted .214 with five home runs.
  • In 1975 Swisher started with the Cubs. He had a seven-game stint at Wichita in late May and was with the Cubs for the remainder of the season. Steve batted .213 with one home run in 93 games.
  • Swisher was selected to the NL All Star team in 1976 but did not play. Apparently Sparky Anderson picked Steve because he wore out Reds' pitching. He batted .394 against the Reds that year but didn't do nearly as well against the rest of the league. He played in 109 games and batted .236 with five home runs. The 1977 season was the last one Steve would spend with the Cubs. He played in 74 games and had a .190 batting average. After the season he was traded with Jerry Morales and cash to the St. Louis Cardinals for Dave Rader and Hector Cruz.
  • With Ted Simmons starting, Steve didn't get a whole lot of playing time in St. Louis. He played in a total of 101 games from 1978-1980. After the 1980 season Swisher was involved in that huge trade that sent Rollie Fingers from the San Diego Padres to the Cardinals. Steve got even less playing time in San Diego -- a total of 42 games in 1981 and 1982.
  • Steve was granted free agency after the 1982 season. He didn't sign with a major league team and ended up playing for the Atlanta Braves' AAA Richmond club in 1983. He batted .218 and retired as a player at the age of 31.
  • From 1985-1988 Steve managed in the Cleveland Indians' system. He managed in the New York Mets' system in 1989-1993 and was a coach for the Mets from 1994-1996. He returned to managing in 1997 and was the general manager of the Ohio Valley independent club in 1997 adn 1998. Steve managed AA Reading in 2005.
  • Steve is the father of major leaguer Nick Swisher. Here is an article about Steve's hopes for Nick as he was preparing to leave college in 2001.
  • Just for kicks, here is an ad for a fundraiser Steve and Nick were doing for Ohio Valley University in 2006:

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