Saturday, August 29, 2009

1976 Topps #190 - Jon Matlack

  • Jon Trumpbour Matlack pitched for the New York Mets and the Texas Rangers from 1971-1983. His career started off well, but he tailed off and ended up with a 125-126 lifetime record.
  • Matlack was chosen in the 1st round (4th overall) by the Mets in the 1967 draft when he was 17 years old. He pitched in the minors from 1967-1971. Jon was brought up to the Mets in July 1971 and pitched in seven games (six starts). He had a record of 0-3 with a 4.14 ERA.
  • Jon was the NL Rookie of the Year in 1972. He was 15-10 with a 2.32 ERA in 32 starts. Matlack also gave up Roberto Clemente's 3000th (and final) hit on the last day of the season.
  • He followed that season with a 14-16, 3.20 ERA effort in 1973. His skull was fractured by a Marty Perez line drive during the season. Jon pitched a shutout in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series and lost Game 7 of the 1973 World Series.
  • Matlack had three more good seasons (13-15, 16-12, 17-10) with the Mets as part of the Seaver-Koosman-Matlack trio of starting pitchers. Matlack made the NL All Star team in 1974, 1975, and 1976. He was the co-MVP of the 1975 game (with Bill Madlock).
  • Jon had an off year in 1977 (7-15, 4.21 ERA) and was involved in that complicated four-team trade after the 1977 season. Matlack ended up wearing a Texas Rangers' uniform.
  • In 1978 Jon rebounded and had a good year. He was 15-13 with a 2.27 ERA. Matlack had injury problems in 1979 and made only 13 starts. He didn't start until May 1 and didn't pitch again after July 1. He ended up 4-5 with a 4.13 ERA.
  • In 1980 Jon was 10-10 with a 3.68 ERA in 34 starts. Jon slipped to 4-7 with a 4.14 ERA in 16 starts in the strike-shortened 1981 season. In his last two seasons Jon was used as a fifth starter and a reliever. He was released by the Rangers after the 1983 season. It has been said that part of the reason for his release was his activities as a union leader during the 1981 strike.
  • After his playing career Jon was a coach in several minor league systems. Here is a "where are they now" article from 2008. Jon is now the minor league pitching coordinator for the Detroit Tigers.

  • Jon loved to face Bob Boone (.214, 0 HR in 56 AB) and Steve Garvey (.226, 0 HR in 62 AB) and hated to face Tony Perez (.355, 3 HR in 62 AB) and Ted Simmons (.377, 2 HR in 53 AB).

1 comment:

  1. Nice post. I always enjoy reading about Jon as I have a pretty decent player collection of him.