Sunday, March 14, 2010

1976 Topps #382 - Matt Alexander

  • Matt Alexander played in parts of nine seasons (1973-1981) with three teams. Matt was mostly an outfielder but he also saw action in the infield. The majority of his appearances were as a pinch runner (thus the nickname "Matt the Scat"). Alexander was drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 1968. He played in the minors in 1968 and 1969 and then missed two years due to military service. Matt played in the minors again in 1972 and 1973 and was promoted to the Cubs late in 1973 after batting .303 for AAA Wichita. He played in 12 games and batted .200 in five at bats.

  • Alexander spent most of the 1974 season with the Cubs but wasn't used very much. He played in 45 games and batted .204 in 54 at bats. Matt was sent back to Wichita in late July and played in 30 games there at the end of the season.

  • In 1975 Matt started the year in Wichta. He played in 7 games there before being traded to the Oakland A's for a minor leaguer on April 28. The A's liked to have a "designated runner" type of player on the team and Matt fit the bill in1975. He played in 63 games but only got to the plate 11 times (he was 1 for 10 with a walk). Alexander stole 17 bases in 27 attempts and scored 16 runs in 1975. Alexander was only 1 for 30 (.033 average) in 1976. He played in 61 games and stole 20 bases in 27 attempts.

  • The A's released Alexander during spring training in 1978. He had come down with a case of hepatits during the off-season and wasn't ready for the regular season. Alexander attended barber college with some money from the GI bill. He needed only 24 more days to qualify for his baseball pension. Matt didn't play until he was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 1. Pirate manager Chuck Tanner managed Matt in Oakland and remembered what he could do on the basepaths. Alexander appeared in seven games (all as a pinch runner), stole four bases, and scored two runs.

  • In 1979 Matt split time between AAA and the Pirates. He appeared in 44 games for the Pirates and batted .538 (7 for 13) with 16 runs scored. Matt also stole 13 bases in 14 attempts. He pinch ran in one game in the NLCS and scored a run. Alexander also pinch ran in one game in the World Series and was caught stealing.

  • Alexander appeared in 37 games in 1980 and was 1 for 3 as a batter. He scored 13 runs and stole 10 bases in 13 attempts. Matt was in the minors for most of 1981 except for a week in May and a few weeks in September. He appeared in 15 games and batted .364 in 11 at bats. The Pirates sold Matt to the Mexico City Tigers (Mexican League) in March 29, 1982. He played in Mexico through the 1984 season then retired. Matt worked at odd jobs for a few years, then worked at Libbey Glass in his hometown of Shreveport from 1992-2007. He also helps as an assistant coach at Huntington High School in Shreveport.

  • Here is Matt's SABR biography.

No comments:

Post a Comment