Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1977 Topps Baseball #274 - Don Stanhouse

  • Don "Stan the Man Unusual" Stanhouse was drafted in the first round by the Oakland A's in 1969. Don pitched in the Oakland system from 1969-1971 but he wasn't going to break into the great Oakland pitching staff. During spring training in 1972 Stanhouse was traded (with Jim Panther) to the Texas Rangers for Denny McLain.
  • Stanhouse went back and forth between AAA Denver and the Rangers in 1972. He was a fifth starter and occasional reliever for the Rangers and went 2-9 with a 3.78 ERA in 24 games (16 starts).
  • In 1973 Stanhouse struggled. He started the season with the Rangers and was sent to the minors in early July. Don was 1-7 with a 4.76 ERA for Texas and was 3-5 with a 7.36 ERA for AAA Spokane.
  • Don didn't get a Topps card in 1974, probably because he finished the 1973 season in the minors. Stanhouse started the season in Spokane and was brought up to the Rangers in late May after going 4-5 with a 2.44 ERA. He was used exclusively as a reliever by the Rangers and went 1-1 with a 4.80 ERA in 18 games. After the 1974 season Stanhouse was traded (with Pete Mackanin) to the Montreal Expos for Willie Davis. The Expos were planning to go with all youngsters for the 1975 season and traded Davis even though he was their best offensive player in '74.
  • Don spent the first part of the 1975 season in AAA Memphis. He pitched well for the Blues, going 6-5 with a 1.91 ERA in 13 games (12 starts). Don also got his walks per 9 innings down to 3.4. This was rare for Stanhouse -- he usually walked over five batters per nine innings. Stanhouse was brought up in mid June but he wasn't successful in four games (0-0, 8.31 ERA). He didn't pitch after July 1, so there may have been an injury.
  • Stanhouse didn't get a Topps card in 1976 either. The 1976 season was the first one that Don spent entirely in the majors. Don was mostly a starter and went 9-12 with 1 save and had a 3.77 ERA in 34 games (26 starts).
  • Don was a starter for the first two  months of the 1977 season. He had a tough time (3-7, 4.79 ERA through May) and was moved to the bullpen. Don made a few more spot starts in 1977, but he was  more successful pitching out of the bullpen. Altogether Stanhouse was 10-10 with 10 saves and had a 3.41 ERA in 47 games (16 starts).
  • After the 1977 season Don was traded (with Joe Kerrigan and Gary Roenicke) to the Baltimore Orioles for Rudy May, Randy Miller, and Bryn Smith. Baltimore manager Earl Weaver was angered by the trade because he wasn't consulted beforehand. Earl didn't like losing May, who won 16 games for the Orioles in 1977.
  • Stanhouse had his two best seasons for the Orioles in 1978 and in 1979. In 1978 Don pitched in 56 games and was 6-9 with 24 saves and had a 2.89 ERA. 
  • Don's best season was in 1979. Stanhouse was named to the AL All Star team but he didn't get in the game. Don went 7-3 with 21 saves in 52 games and had a 2.85 ERA. Don picked up the nickname "Fullpack" after Weaver mentioned to a reporter that he went through a full pack of cigarettes during a Stanhouse outing. In the AL Championship Series Stanhouse was 1-1 with a 6.00 ERA in three games. Don had a rough time in the World Series -- he was 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in two games. Stanhouse had a back injury during the World Series that he didn't disclose until after Game 5 .
  • After the 1979 season Stanhouse became a free agent. He signed a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that paid him $340,000 a season with a $400,000 signing bonus.
  • Don had a back injury in 1980 and struggled. Stanhouse was 2-2 with 7 saves and had a 5.04 ERA in 21 games. The injuries to Stanhouse and Terry Forster opened the way for young Steve  Howe to become the Dodger closer and become the team's second straight Rookie of the Year.
  • Don continued to struggle during spring training in 1981 and was beaten out by rookie Dave Stewart. He was "designated for assignment" on April 8 and was released on April 17. The Dodgers ended up paying the remaining $1.36 million on Don's contract.
  • Stanhouse was invited to spring training by the Orioles in 1982. Don made the team but he struggled. He was 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA for the Orioles in 1982. Stanhouse also had a stint in AAA and was 2-3 with a 4.12 ERA in 15 games (10 starts). Don was released on July 15, was resigned on July 23, and then released again after the season
  • The Pittsburgh Pirates signed Stanhouse to a minor league contract in 1983. Don was 4-2 with 3 saves and had a 3.15 ERA in 39 games for AAA Hawaii, but he never made it back to the  majors.
  • Don is now a successful businessman.
  • Catching up with Don Stanhouse - 2009
  • Where Are They Now article - 2011.
  • 1977 Stats: 10-10, 10 saves, 3.41 ERA in 47 games (16 starts)
  • 1977 Highlights:
  • Other card blogs: 1973, 1975, 1979, 1980, Cardboard Gods, another Cardboard Gods

No comments:

Post a Comment