Sunday, September 27, 2009

1976 Topps #219 - Tom Murphy

  • Tom Murphy pitched for six teams from 1968-1979. He was the California Angels' first round pick (6th overall) in the 1967 draft. Tom moved up the minor league ladder quickly -- he pitched for three teams in 1967 and two teams in 1968. He came up to the Angels in June 1968 and was 5-6 with a 2.17 ERA in 15 starts.
  • In 1969 Tom was 10-16 with a 4.21 ERA. He led the AL in hit batsmen (21) and wild pitched (16). It would seem like he was a really wild pitcher, but he averaged about three walks per nine innings for most of his career.
  • Murphy's best season was probably 1970. He started 38 games and was 16-13 with a 4.24 ERA. In 1971 Tom struggled -- he again led the AL in wild pitches (17) and had a 6-17 record with a 3.77 ERA.
  • Tom started the 1972 season with the Angels and had problems with wildness. He walked eight batters in 11 innings and had a 5.40 ERA in six games. On May 5 Murphy was traded to the Kansas City Royals for Bob Oliver. He pitched for the Royals in May and June and then was sent to the minors for two months. Tom came back in September and ended up with good stats for the Royals (4-4, 3.07 ERA in 18 games).
  • Murphy started the 1973 season with AAA Omaha. He was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in early May for Al Santorini. Tom was 3-7 with a 3.76 ERA in 19 games (13 starts) for the Cardinals. After the 1973 season Tom was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Bob Heise.
  • In 1974 Murphy was converted to a relief pitcher. He would start only one more game in his career. Tom had a good year as the Brewers' closer -- he was 10-10 with 20 saves and a 1.90 ERA in 70 appearances. He led the AL in games finished with 66. In 1975 Tom hit the skids, dropping to a 1-9 record. He had 20 saves, but his ERA went up to 4.60.
  • Tom started the 1976 season with the Brewers. He made 15 appearances (0-1, 7.36 ERA) then was traded with Bobby Darwin to the Boston Red Sox for Bernie Carbo. Tom pitched better for the Red Sox -- he was 4-5 with a 3.44 ERA and eight saves. Murphy's 1977 season followed the same pattern. He started poorly (0-1, 6.75 ERA in 16 games), then was traded. In this case he was purchased by the Toronto Blue Jays on July 27. He was 2-1 with a 3.63 ERA in 19 games for the Blue Jays to finish the 1977 season.
  • Murphy made 50 appearances for the Blue Jays in 1978. He was 6-9 with a 3.93 ERA and saved seven games. In 1979 Tom started poorly again (1-2, 5.40 in 10 games) and was released on May 12.

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