Saturday, March 6, 2010

1976 Topps #374 - Dan Warthen

  • Dan Warthen was a high school All-American football player (quarterback and tight end) and was also a star high school baseball player. Warthen turned down scholarship offers from USC, UCLA, Michigan, Northwestern, and Nebraska in order to play baseball. Dan was drafted by the  Montreal Expos in 1971.

  • Warthen pitched in the minors from 1971-1975 and was brought up to the majors in May 1975. Dan was a swingman, making 18 starts and appearing in relief 22 times. He had a record of 8-6 with 3 saves and a 3.11 ERA. Dan later said that he messed up his arm in 1975 when he pitched nine innings on a Friday night and then appeared in relief two days later on a Sunday afternoon.

  • In 1976 Dan's stats took a turn for the worse. He was 2-10 in 23 games (16 starts) and had a 5.30 ERA. Warthen had a short stint with AAA Denver in 1976 and was 4-0 with a 3.18 ERA. Warthen was with Montreal for the first part of the 1977 season but was ineffective (2-3, 7.97 ERA). On June 15 Warthen and Barry Foote were traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Tim Blackwell and Wayne Twitchell. He made one appearance for the Phillies and then was sent to the minors. Dan made two appearances for the Phillies late in the 1977 season and ended up 2-4 with a 7.24 ERA. 

  • Warthen was in AAA for most of the 1978 season. On September 2 he was traded to the Houston Astros for Dan Larson. He started one game and relieved in for others for the Astros and was 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA. Dan didn't make the Astros ballclub in 1979 and was released during spring training. He pitched in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization from 1979-1982 but never made it back to the majors. Dan was a player-coach in 1981 and 1982.

  • After his playing career Warthen was a coach in the minor leagues for several seasons. Dan was the pitching coach for Seattle (1992), San Diego (1996-1997), and Detroit (1999-2002). He was a minor league pitching coach from 2003-2005 and then was the bullpen coach for the LA Dodgers in 2006 and 2007. Dan is now the pitching coach for the New York Mets. Here is a 2009 New York Times article about Warthen.

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