Wednesday, September 16, 2009

1976 Topps #208 - Mike Lum

  • Mike Lum played at a time when Hawaii natives in big league ball were still rare. Lum was the first American of Japanese ancestry to play in the majors. He played for three teams from 1967-1981 and then played in Japan in 1982.
  • Lum made his debut in September of 1967 with the Atlanta Braves. He batted .259 in 26 at bats. From 1968-1970 Mike was a 4th/5th outfielder and pinch hitter for the Braves. He got a couple hundred at bats a year and usually batted around .250. Mike was 2 for 2 in the 1969 National League Championship Series.
  • In 1971 Mike started a lot of games in right field as Hank Aaron started playing more games at first base. He played in a career-high 145 games and batted .269 with 13 home runs. Lum tailed off a bit in 1972---he batted .228 in 123 games.
  • In 1973 Mike played several games at all three OF positions as well as first base. He had his best offensive year by batting .294 with 16 HR and 82 RBI in 138 games. Lum's offensive production dropped again in 1974 when he batted .233 with 11 HR in 106 games. Mike had a similar year in 1975 (.228 with 8 HR in 124 games) and was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Darrel Chaney after the season.
  • Lum had a huge cut in his playing time but at least he got a ring in 1976. Mike batted .228 in 136 at bats as a pinch hitter and extra outfielder. In 1977 Lum's average dropped to .160 in 125 at bats. He had a better year in 1978 (.267 in 146 at bats) and then became a free agent after the season. Mike signed with the Braves.
  • Mike was a bench player again in 1979. He batted .249 in 217 at bats in '79. In 1980 Mike played in the field only 29 times. He batted .205 in 83 at bats, mostly as a pinch hitter.
  • The 1981 season was Lum's last one in the major leagues. He started in Atlanta, where he batted .091 in 11 at bats. Mike was released by the Braves on May 1. He signed with the Chicago Cubs on May 17 and batted .241 in 58 at bats. Mike was released after the season and signed with the Taiyo Whales of the Japanese League. He played there in 1982 and then retired.
  • Mike had several jobs in baseball after his retirement as a player:
  • 1985 Hitting coach Chicago White Sox
    1990-2005 Roving hitting instructor Chicago White Sox
    2006 Coach West Virginia Power
    2008 Minor League Hitting Coordinator Milwaukee Brewers

1 comment:

  1. Mike also is the answer to a great trivia question.

    Who is the only major league player to pinch hit for Hank Aaron?

    tell that to your grandkids....