Sunday, March 17, 2013

1977 Topps Baseball #475 - Rookie Pitchers - Chris Batton, Rick Camp, Scott McGregor, Manny Sarmiento

  • Chris Batton
    • Debut: September 19, 1976
    • 1977 Stats:
      • Shreveport Captains (AA): 6-5, 3.14 ERA in 14 starts
      • Columbus Clippers: 1-3, 7.91 ERA in 8 starts
    • 1977 Highlights:
    • Other card blogs: none
    • Chris Batton was drafted out of high school by the Oakland A's in 1972. Chris pitched in the minors from 1972-1976.
    • Batton was called up in September 1976 and pitched in two games. He allowed no runs in two innings in a relief appearance and then allowed two runs in two innings in a start against the California Angels.
    • On March 15, 1977 Chris was traded (with Phil Garner and Tommy Helms) to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Doc Medich, Dave Giusti, Mitchell Page, Tony Armas, Rick Langford, and Doug Bair. Chris split the season between AA (where he pitched well) and AAA (where he struggled).
    • Batton didn't pitch in 1978. He pitched for two non-affiliated teams in 1979 - Class A  Bakersfield (1-3, 7.67 in 5 starts) and the Santo Domingo Azucareos of the Inter-American League (7-4, 2.40 ERA in 15 games). That was it for Batton's career.
  • Rick Camp
    • Debut: September 15, 1976
    • 1977 Stats: 6-3, 10 saves, 4.00 ERA in 54 games
    • 1977 Highlights
    • Other card blogs: 1979, 1983, 1985, 1986, Cardboard Gods
    • Rick Camp was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in 1974. After playing in the minors from 1974-1976 Camp was called up for a look in September 1976. He went 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA in 5 games (1 start).
    • Camp's first full season was in 1977. Rick appeared in 54 games and was 6-3 with 10 saves with a 4.00 ERA.
    • In 1978 Camp was mostly a middle reliever. He made four starts in June and July. Rick was 2-4 with a 3.75 ERA in 42 appearances.
    • Camp was sent to AAA Richmond during spring training in 1979. Rick made 22 appearances for the Richmond Braves before having season-ending arm surgery.
    • Rick bounced back in 1980 to have a great season. He made 77 appearances and had a 6-4 record with 22 saves and had a 1.91 ERA. Camp was named NL player of the week for saving three games in one week late in September.
    • Camp had a similar season in 1981. He saved 17 games and went 9-3 with a 1.78 ERA in 48 appearances.
    • In 1982 Camp started the season as a reliever. He was moved into the starting rotation in June. Rick went 11-13 with 5 saves and had a 3.65 ERA in 51 games (21 starts). Camp started game 3 of the NL Championship Series but allowed four runs in one inning plus of work as the St. Louis Cardinals eliminated the Braves.
    • Rick was a starter for the first couple of months of the 1983 season before being used as a swingman from June to the end of the season. Camp went 10-9 and had a 3.79 ERA in 40 games (16 starts)
    • In 1984 Rick was a swingman for the first part of the season and then went to the bullpen for the second half of the season. Camp went 8-6 and had a 3.27 ERA in 31 games (12 starts).
    • In his last season (1985) Rick hit one of the most improbable home runs in history. With the Braves behind 11-10 in the bottom of the 18th inning Camp homered to tie the game. In the 19th inning Camp struck out to finally end the game. Rick made 66 appearances (2 starts) and was 4-6 with 3 saves and had a 3.95 ERA.
    • Rick was cut at the end of spring training in 1986. There was a 24-man roster in effect in 1986 and Camp may have been a victim of this roster reduction. He received his guaranteed salary of $600,000 and retired from baseball.
    • In 2005 Camp was convicted of conspiring to steal over $2 million from a mental health agency. He was a lobbyist at the time. Rick was sentenced to three years in federal prison.
  • Scott McGregor
    • Debut: September 19, 1976
    • 1977 Stats: 3-5, 4 saves, 4.42 ERA in 29 games (5 saves)
    • 1977 Highlights:
    • Other card blogs: 1975, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1988
    • Scott McGregor was the New York Yankees' first round draft pick in 1972. McGregor progressed through the Yankees system from 1972-1976. On June 15 Scott was traded (with Rick Dempsey, Dave Pagan, Rudy May, and Tippy Martinez) to the Baltimore Orioles for Doyle Alexander, Jimmy Freeman, Ellie Hendricks, Ken Holtzman, and Grant Jackson. Scott stayed in AAA until the end of the 1976 season. He was called up in September and went 0-1 with a 3.68 ERA in 3 games (2 starts).
    • In 1977 McGregor spent most of the time in the bullpen. Scott had five starts out of his 29 appearances.
    • Scott was mostly a starting pitcher for the rest of his major league career. He was known for his control -- McGregor's career average was 2.2 walks per nine innings. Scott also didn't strike out many batters (only one year of more than 100 strikeouts). McGregor had good years when he had good defenses behind him, but was average to below average when he was pitching for poorer clubs.
    • In 1978 McGregor was 15-13 with a 3.32 ERA. He followed that year up with a 13-6, 3.35 ERA in 1979. Scott had a complete game 8-0 shutout in game 4 of the AL Championship Series and was 1-1 (won game 3, lost game 7) with a 3.18 ERA in the World Series. 
    • Scott's best season was probably 1980. He was a 20 game winner for the only time in his career (20-8, 3.32 ERA) and finished 6th in AL Cy Young Award voting.
    • McGregor was an AL All Star in 1981, but he didn't get in the game. Scott went 13-5 with a 3.26 ERA.
    • In 1982 McGregor had his first off year (14-12, 4.61 ERA). Scott bounced back with a good season in 1983 (18-7, 3.18 ERA, 6th in Cy Young voting). McGregor lost his only start in the AL Championship Series despite giving up only two runs in 6 2/3 innings. Scott was 1-1 with a 1.06 ERA in the World Series. He took the loss in game 1 of the Series and pitched a shutout in game 5.
    • Scott's ERA climbed in the next few seasons. He was 15-12 with a 3.94 ERA in 1984 and was 14-14 with a 4.81 ERA in 1985.
    • The 1986 season was Scott's last full season as a starter. He slipped to 11-15 and had a 4.52 ERA.
    • Scott struggled in 1987. On July 7 McGregor was 2-7 with a 6.64 ERA when he was sent to AAA Rochester. He didn't return to the Orioles for the rest of the season.
    • McGregor came  back in 1988 but was released on May 2 after going 0-3 with an 8.83 ERA in four starts.
    • After his retirement McGregor was a pastor in Baltimore  and in Dover, Deleware from 1988-2001.
    • Scott has been working for the Orioles as a coach for the last several years. In 2012 he went to Florida to work with Baltimore's injured and rehabbing pitchers.
  • Manny Sarmiento
    • Debut:  July 30, 1976
    • 1977 Stats:
      • Cincinnati Reds: 0-0, 1 save, 2.45 ERA in 24 games
      • Indianapolis Indians (AAA): 3-4, 5 saves, 6.69 ERA in 25 games (1 start)
    • 1977 Highlights:
    • Other card blogs: 1979, 1980, 1983
    • Manny Sarmiento was signed by the Cincinnati Reds out of Venezuela in 1972 at the age of 16. He pitched in the minors from 1972-1976 before getting a chance in late July 1976 with the Reds. Sarmiento had a good two months of the season, going 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA in 22 games. Manny appeared in one game in the NL Championship Series and allowed two runs in one inning.
    • Sarmiento started the 1977 season in AAA Indianapolis The original plan was to have Manny with the Reds, but Champ Summers had a good spring and manager Sparky Anderson decided to keep him and send down Sarmiento. He was recalled on July 20 and finished the season with the Reds. Manny put up better numbers with the Reds (2.45 ERA in 24 games) than he did in the minors (6.69 ERA in 25 games).
    • Manny was mostly a middle reliever and setup man for the Reds in 1978 (9-7, 5 saves, 4.38 ERA in 63 games / 4 starts) and in 1979 (0-4, 4.66 ERA in 23 games / 1 start). Manny's 1979 season was broken up by a couple of stints in Indianapolis.
    • Sarmiento was released toward the end of spring training in 1980. In mid April he signed with the Seattle Mariners. He pitched for the AAA Spokane Indians for most of the 1980 season. Manny was brought up to Seattle in September and was 0-1 with one save and had a 3.68 ERA in 9 games.
    • Manny was traded to the Boston Red Sox on April 8, 1981 for Dick Drago. Sarmiento spent the entire 1981 season pitching for AAA Pawtucket.
    • After the 1981 season Sarmineto was sold to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He started the 1982 season in AAA and was brought up in May. Manny was used as a swingman by the Pirates and had a good year (9-4, 1 save, 3.39 ERA in 35 games / 17 starts).
    • Manny pitched well for the Pirates again in 1983. He went 3-5 with 4 saves and had a 2.99 ERA in 52 appearances.
    • In April 1984 Sarmiento underwent surgery to remove a bone spur from his right elbow. It was thought he would be out for six weeks, but he ended up not pitching all year.
    • Manny tried to come back in 1985 but was one of the Pirates' last cuts in spring training. He was sent to AAA Hawaii. He pitched well in Hawaii but wasn't brought back to Pittsburgh. At the end of the 1985 season Sarmiento was one of the players caught up in the Pittsburgh drug scandal. Although Manny wasn't suspended or fined, the testimony given by other players during the drug trial may have been the reason why he never pitched again after the 1985 season.


  1. Coincidentally, I reviewed Camp's last card on my site the day after this post.

  2. Yeah--I think his 1985 card is also coming up pretty soon. Quite the coincidence.