Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Friday, October 8, 2010

1976 Topps #579 - Clay Kirby

  • Clay Kirby was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in 1966. Kirby pitched in the Cardinals' system from 1966-1968 and then was chosen by the San Diego Padres in the expansion draft. 
  • Pitching for the expansion Padres didn't exactly do wonders for Kirby's winning percentage. Clay led the NL with 20 losses in his rookie season of 1969. He had a 7-20 record with a 3.80 ERA in 35 starts. In 1970 Kirby went 10-16 with a 4.53 ERA for the Padres. On July 21, 1970 Clay had a no-hitter going against the the Mets after eight innings but was losing 1-0 and was removed for a pinch hitter by manager Preston Gomez.
  • Kirby had his only winning season with the Padres in 1971 -- he went 15-13 with a 2.83 ERA. Clay had a good ERA in 1972 (3.13) and was 12-14 in 34 starts.
  • Clay dropped to 8-18 with a 4.79 ERA in 1973. After the 1973 season Kirby was traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Bobby Tolan and Dave Tomlin.
  • Clay went 12-9 with a 3.28 ERA in 35 starts for the Reds in 1974. Kirby's ERA rose to 4.76 in 1975 but he still went 10-6 for the Big Red Machine. Clay wasn't used by the Reds in the 1975 postseason. After the 1975 season the Reds traded Kirby to the Montreal Expos for Bob Bailey.
  • Kirby went 1-8 with a 5.72 ERA in 22 games (15 starts) in 1976. Clay was released by the Expos after the 1976 season. Kirby pitched for San Diego's AAA Hawaii Islanders in 1977 but didn't get back to the majors.
  • Kirby died of a heart attack in his hometown of Arlington, VA at the age of 43 on October 11, 1991.
  • Liked to face: Gene Alley (.000 in 11 AB); Billy Grabarkewitz (.056 in 18 AB); Garry Maddox (.077 in 26 AB)
  • Hated to face: Dave Parker (.636 in 11 AB); Dave Lopes (.462 in 26 AB); Willie Stargell (.415 with 5 HR in 41 AB)


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