Wednesday, February 17, 2010

1976 Topps #357 - Ken Forsch

  • Ken Forsch had a 16-year career as a major league pitcher from 1970-1986. His brother Bob also had a good career as a major league pitcher. Forsch was drafted by the Houston Astros in 1968. He was in the minors from 1968-1970 and was brought up to the Astros in September 1970. Ken was 1-2 with a 5.62 ERA in four starts for the Astros in 1970.

  • For the next three years Forsch was a 5th starter and occasional reliever. In 1971 he was 8-8 with a 2.53 ERA in 33 games (23 starts). Ken was 6-8 with a 3.91 ERA in 30 games (24 starts) in 1973. The Astros started to use Forsch out of the bullpen more in 1973 -- he pitched in 46 games (26 starts) and was 9-12 with four saves and a 4.20 ERA.

  • From 1974-1978 Forsch spent most of his time as a reliever. Ken made 70 appearances in 1974 and was 8-7 with 10 saves and a 2.79 ERA. In 1975 Forsch was a swingman. He made 34 appearances, 9 of them starts. Ken was 4-8 with 2 saves and a 3.22 ERA in 1975. Ken must have been injured in '75 -- he missed all of August and three weeks in September.

  • The 1976 season was probably Ken's best one as a reliever. Forsch made 52 appearances and had 19 saves. He was 4-3 with a 2.15 ERA. Ken was selected to the 1976 NL All Star team and pitched a scoreless 9th inning.

  • Forsch had two more good seasons as a swingman in 1977 (5-8, 8 saves, 2.72 ERA) and 1978 (10-6, 7 saves, 3.04 ERA). In 1979 Ken went back to being a starting pitcher and stayed in that role until his final season in 1986. Forsch was 11-6 with a 3.04 ERA in 24 starts in 1979. On April 7 he pitched a no-hitter against the Atlanta Braves. He missed about five weeks in May and June. Bob and Ken Forsch: No-Hitters Are A Family Affair - August 1979 Baseball Digest.

  • Ken and the Astros finally made it to the postseason in 1980. Forsch made 32 starts in 1980 and was 12-13 with a 3.20 ERA. He started game 1 of the NLCS and lost to the Phillies' Steve Carlton. Ken also appeared in the 8th inning of game 5 and got a blown save as Manny Trillo hit a 2-run triple to put the Phillies ahead 7-5. The Phils eventually won the game in the 10th inning and went on to win the World Championship.

  • On April 1, 1981 Forsch was traded to the California Angels for Dickie Thon. He had a good year for the Angels and was an All Star for the American League (he pitched the 5th inning and allowed a home run to Gary Carter). Ken was 11-4 with a 2.88 ERA in 20 starts in 1981.

  • Forsch was 13-11 with a 3.87 ERA in 32 starts for the Angels in 1982. He wasn't used in the ALCS. Ken was 11-12 with a 4.06 ERA in 31 starts in 1983. In 1984 Forsch was 1-1 with a 2.20 ERA in 2 starts when he was injured (he landed on his elbow and dislocated his shoulder making a tag) and missed the rest of the season. He also missed the 1985 season with elbow problems and was released. Forsch came back to the Angels in 1986 and pitched in 10 games (0-1, 9.53 ERA) before being released again on May 25. The Seattle Mariners signed Forsch and assigned him to AAA Calgary. Ken pitched for Calgary in 1986 and then retired.

  • After his playing career Forsch went into real estate in Anaheim and did community relations work with the Angels. He became the Angels' Director of Player Development in 1994. Ken is now the Assistant General Manager, a position he has had since 1998. Here is a January 2009 interview with Forsch.

  • Liked to face: Larry Biittner (.000 in 15 AB); Mike Phillips (.087 in 23 AB); George Foster (.103 in 29 AB)
  • Hated to face: Felix Millan (.433 in 30 AB); Willie Davis (.429 in 35 AB); John Milner (.423 in 26 AB)

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