Saturday, December 5, 2009

1976 Topps #288 - Bill Campbell

  • Bill Campbell pitched for seven teams from 1973-1987. He was one of the first players to sign a big contract during the free agent era. Bill was singed by the Minnesota Twins in 1970. He began his career as a starting pitcher, making only one relief appearance in his three years in the minors. Campbell was called up to the Twins in mid July 1973. He pitched in 28 games (2 starts) and was 3-3 with 7 saves and an ERA of 3.14.

  • Campbell became an important part of the Minnesota bullpen in 1974. He appeared in 62 games and had 19 saves, an 8-7 record, and an ERA of 2.62. In 1975 the Twins had Bill start a few games. Campbell appeared in 47 games and started seven times. He had a record of 4-6 with 5 saves and an ERA of 3.79.

  • Bill had a great year in 1976. He led the AL in appearances with 78 and was 17-5 with 20 saves and a 3.01 ERA. Campbell led the AL in winning percentage (.778). Bill pitched 167 2/3 innings in relief during the '76 season. He got some Cy Young consideration (7th) and MVP consideration (8th) and was the AL Fireman of the Year. After the '76 season Campbell became a free agent and signed a big contract ($1 million for four years) with the Boston Red Sox. He was the first player from the first free agent class to sign a contract.

  • The Red Sox received some immediate dividends from Campbell in 1977. Bill was AL Fireman of the Year for the second year in a row and made the AL All Star team (he pitched a scoreless 7th inning). He was 5th in Cy Young Award voting and 10th in MVP voting and was again the AL Fireman of the Year. Campbell had a record of 13-9 with an ERA of 2.96 and led the AL with 31 saves.

  • In 1978 Campbell experienced arm trouble. He didn't pitch for four weeks in late April and May. He was used about 1-2 times a week and pitched only 50 2/3 innings. He had a 7-5 record with 4 saves and a 3.91 ERA. Bill appeared in more games in 1979 (41 compared to 29 in '78) but pitched only 54 2/3 innings. He was 3-4 with 9 saves and a 4.28 ERA.

  • During the 1980 season Bill didn't pitch until June 20. He made only 23 appearances, the lowest number until his last season. Bill was 4-0 with a 4.79 ERA. Campbell was 1-1 with 9 saves and a 3.17 ERA in 30 appearances in 1981. After the season he became a free agent and signed with the Chicago Cubs.

  • Campbell was able to come back in 1982 and pitch 100 innings, the most since 1977. In his 62 appearances he was 3-6 with 8 saves and a 3.69 ERA. Bill led the NL with 82 appearances in 1983 and was 6-8 with 8 saves and a 4.49 ERA. After the 1983 season he and Mike Diaz were traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Gary Matthews, Bob Dernier, and Porti Altamirano.

  • Bill was a middle reliever for the Phillies in 1984. He had a 6-5 record with one save and a 3.53 ERA in 57 games. At the end of spring training in 1985 he and Ivan DeJesus were traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for Dave Rucker.

  • Campbell finally made it to the postseason in 1985. He made 50 appearances and was 5-3 with 4 saves and a 3.50 ERA during the season. Bill made three appearances in the NLCS and three appearances in the World Series and allowed one run in 6.1 innings. Campbell was released after the season and hooked up with the Detroit Tigers.

  • Bill spent one season with the Tigers (3-6, 3 saves, 3.88 ERA) and was released after the '86 season. He signed with the Montreal Expos but was released in May 1987 after making seven appearances and having an ERA of 8.10.

  • Liked to face: Buddy Bell (.120 in 25 AB); Bert Campaneris (.130 in 23 AB); Reggie Jackson (.167 in 36 AB)
  • Hated to face: Claudell Washington (.389 in 36 AB); Johnny Ray (.563 in 16 AB); Gene Tenace (.563 in 16 AB)

1 comment:

  1. Bill was fireman of the year yet Sparky Lyle won the Cy Young. Can you explain, o great one?