Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Monday, October 11, 2010

1976 Topps #582 - Mike Kekich

  • Mike Kekich pitched in parts of nine seasons in the majors from 1965-1977. He was famed for his infamous wife swap with Fritz Peterson (will be discussed later). 
  • Kekich was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1964. Mike was in the minors for the 1964 season and then pitched for the Dodgers in 1965. Kekich pitched twice in June, twice in August, and once in October and was 0-1 with a 9.58 ERA in five games (one start). 
  • Mike found himself back in the minors in 1966 and 1967. He pitched in a total of 11 games in 1966 for two teams. His lack of games may be due to an injury or to a military commitment. Kekich went 17-4 for AA Spokane in 1967.
  • Kekich was back with the Dodgers in 1968. In a pitcher's year Mike struggled, going 2-10 with a 3.91 ERA in 25 games (20 starts). After the 1968 season Kekich was traded to the New York Yankees for Andy Kosco. 
  • For the next three seasons Kekich was a swingman for the Yankees. Mike was 2-6 with a 4.54 ERA in 28 games (13 starts) in 1969. In 1970 Kekich went 6-3 with a 4.83 ERA in 26 games (14 starts). Mike was 10-9 with a 4.26 ERA in 37 games (24 starts) in 1971.
  • Mike became a full-time starting pitcher in 1972 and had his most productive season. Kekich had a 10-13 record with a 3.70 ERA in 29 starts.
  • Before the 1973 season Mike swapped wives (along with kids and dogs) with fellow Yankee pitcher Fritz Peterson. The incident created an uproar and both players were booed by the fans. Kekich struggled in the first part of the 1973 season, going 1-1 with a 9.20 ERA in five games (four starts). On June 12 Mike was traded to the Cleveland Indians for Lowell Palmer. Kekich finished the 1973 season going 1-4 with a 7.02 ERA in 16 games (six starts) for the Indians.
  • The swap didn't work out well for Kekich. Peterson and his new "wife" married, but Kekich soon separated from his "wife." Mike was cut by the Indians during spring training in 1974. He signed with the Texas Rangers and spent the 1974 season pitching for AAA Spokane.
  • Mike spent part of the 1975 season in Spokane. He was called up to the Rangers in June and was up and down between Texas and Spokane for the rest of the season. Kekich went 0-0 with two saves and had a 7.02 ERA in 16 games (six starts) for the Rangers in 1975.
  • Kekich was cut by the Rangers during spring training in 1976. Mike pitched in the Mexican League in 1976 and then was picked up by the expansion Seattle Mariners for the 1977 season. Mike went 5-4 with three saves and had a 5.60 ERA in 41 games (two starts) for the Mariners in 1977.
  • Kekich was cut by the Mariners during spring training in 1978. Mike pitched for AAA San Jose (Mariners organization) and AAA Spokane (Milwaukee Brewers organization) in 1978 but didn't get back to the majors.
  • In 1989 Mike pitched in the Senior Professional Baseball Association. Kekich is now remarried and lives near Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • Liked to face: Paul Casanova (.000 in 12 AB); Cookie Rojas (.087 in 23 AB); Vada Pinson (.120 in 25 AB)
  • Hated to face: Freddie Patek (.542 in 24 AB); Merv Rettenmund (.467 in 30 AB); Frank  Howard (.429 in 28 AB)

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