Tuesday, September 22, 2009

1976 Topps #214 - Eric Soderholm

  • Eric Soderholm was an infielder for four teams from 1971-1980. His career was shortened by knee injuries. Eric was the first pick (Minnesota Twins) in the 1968 amateur draft. He played for various teams in the Twins' organization from 1968-1971. He never had high minor league batting averages, but he showed some power--especially in 1971 when he hit 22 home runs for AAA Portland. Soderholm was called up in September 1971 and batted .156 in 21 games for the Twins.
  • Soderholm spent the entire 1972 season with the Twins and batted .188 with 13 home runs in 93 games. He started the 1973 season with AAA Tacoma and wasn't called up until late August. Although his stats with Tacoma weren't impressive (.238 batting average), the minor league stint must have done him some good. Eric batted .297 in 35 games for the Twins to finish the 1973 season on a high note.
  • In 1974 Eric became the starting third baseman. He batted .276 with 10 HR and 51 RBI in 141 games. In 1975 he improved to .286 with 11 homers and 58 RBI.
  • Soderholm missed the entire 1976 season with a knee injury. He was granted free agency after the 1976 season and signed with the Chicago White Sox. Eric was the Comeback Player of the Year in 1977 as he had his best season. He batted .28o with a career-high 25 homers and 67 RBI. He hit 20 homers in 1978 and batted .258 in 143 games.
  • Eric started the 1979 season with the White Sox but was traded to the Texas Rangers on June 15. For the two teams he batted .261 with 10 homers in 119 games. After the 1979 season Soderholm was traded to the New York Yankees for cash and two minor leaguers. He hit pretty well for the Yankees (.287, 11 HR, 35 RBI in 95 games), but his knees couldn't take the pounding anymore. He didn't play in 1981. Eric was invited to spring training by the Chicago Cubs in 1982 but couldn't play and retired.
  • After his retirement Eric did some scouting for the Cubs and started his own youth baseball camps. He built a batting cage in his backyard and became a private hitting instructor.
  • In 1985 Soderholm left the Cubs and started a ticket agency. He fought for passage of legislation in Illinois that allowed ticket sellers to add a large "service charge" to resold tickets. He now runs Soder World, a wellness center in Hinsdale, IL. Here is a link to an interview with Soderholm.

No comments:

Post a Comment