Monday, October 5, 2009

1976 Topps #227 - Oscar Zamora

  • At first glance, it looks like Mr. Zamora had a long and distinguished career. But most of those years were spent in the minors. Oscar pitched in the majors from 1974-1978. He was originally signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1965. He pitched in the Cleveland organization until his release in April 1969. Zamora was signed by the Houston Astros and spent several more years in the Astro system.
  • In June of 1974 Zamora was purchased by the Chicago Cubs. At the age of 29, he got a chance to be a late-inning reliever and did pretty well. Oscar was 3-9 with a 3.12 ERA and 10 saves in 56 games. In 1975 he was 5-2 with 10 saves in 52 games, but his ERA went up to 5.07. Cubs fans made up a song (sung to Dean Martin's "That's Amore"):
When the pitch is so fat
That the ball meets the bat
That's Zamora
  • In 1976 Zamora was mostly used as a middle reliever and spot starter. He went 5-3 with a 5.24 ERA and three saves in 40 games (2 starts). Zamora also spent some time in AAA Wichita. Oscar spent the entire 1977 season with Wichita and was granted free agency after the season.
  • Zamora signed with the Astros and was assigned to AAA Charleston . He had two stints with Houston during the 1978 season and pitched in 10 games (0-0, 7.20 ERA). There is no record of him pitching again until 1982, when he pitched in 16 games (6 starts) for the independent Miami club.
  • Loved to face: Tim Foli (.071 in 14 at bats); Ken Reitz (.133 in 15 AB)
  • Hated to face: Chris Speier (.417 in 12 AB); Pete Rose (.444 in 9 AB)

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