Tuesday, June 16, 2009

#118 -- Skip Lockwood

Skip Lockwood

This Brewers Spring Training photo includes a photo of one of the rocks that you see in the Arizona shots. If 1972 baseball cards were sent to Neptune and the inhabitants tried to figure us out from this set (scary thought, isn't it?) they'd get out the topographical map and wonder where all the mountains in Wisconsin are.

Skip also looks very 70's in this shot. He's got the sideburns coming way down and up towards his mouth. That took a lot of grooming back then. It's also a lot different from the bookish version of Skip we see in later cards with the Mets.

Skip signed with the A's as an 18 year old out of high school and was brought up in 1965. Those stats aren't on the back of his card because he hit .121 as a 3rd baseman. I guess he didn't scare Sal Bando too much. Looks like after a couple more years of trying to make it as a hitter he started pitching in 1968. For some reason, the Pilots took a flyer on him and drafted him in the expansion draft. After going 6-2 in 10 starts in AA ball, the Pilots brought him up in 1969, with just over a year's pitching experience in the minors.

He finished a couple of blowouts, giving 2 runs in 2 innings, not looking too impressive. The runs came on solo homers to Elrod Hendricks of the Orioles and Ike Brown of the Tigers, not exactly thought of as big time sluggers. However, they let him start 3 games in September and he did great. Since he was with the Pilots, he went 0-1, but he had a 2.70 ERA. He went 7 innings and gave 1 run in a 1-1 tie with the Angels, lost 2-1 to the White Sox and left after 7 against the Twins tied at 3 in a game the Pilots won in 14.

He earned a spot in the rotation from 1970-1973, but was mediocre, going 28-54 (ouch) despite a 3.70 ERA over that time. He was traded to the Angels and didn't get much work there in 1974. He was traded to the Yankees in the off-season, but was released at the beginning of 1975. The A's picked him up, but he was stuck at AAA Tucson, pitching so-so between the rotation and bullpen. The Mets purchased him for bullpen depth and he found his niche. He was a big part of the Mets bullpen in the late 70's before arm trouble shut him down in 1979. He tried to come back with his beloved Red Sox (native of Massachusetts) but he wasn't the same. The Sox released him in the last cuts before the 1981 season started. He tried to hang on with Montreal's AAA team in 1981, but that was it for his baseball career.

But that wasn't all for Skip Lockwood. He's done some baseball analyst work, but he's had a really interesting post-baseball career. He has a Master's degree from MIT in 1983, shortly after his baseball career ended. That's a pretty big accomplishment, especially given that he went from high school to baseball and he had to pick up a bachelor's degree somewhere along the way. Skip is only one of three MIT grads to have played in the big leagues with Art Merewether (1 at bat for the Pirates in 1922) and Jason Szuminski (7 games in 2004 for the Padres) are the others.

Skip is currently the CEO of a company called PACE 360, a company involved in sales and marketing.
1972 Feature
On June 16, 1972 there were 6 shutouts in the 11 games played. Joe Coleman of the Tigers threw a 3-hitter at the Angels, Jim Palmer needed Grant Jackson to get the last out with the bases loaded to preserve a 3-0 win over the Twins, the A's got 4 in the 1st and Ken Holtzman scattered 7 Indian hits to win 5-0, Ron Reed gave the Expos only 7 hits in the 2nd game of a doubleheader in Atlanta, Cub rookie Burt Hooton stopped the Dodgers on 6 hits, and the Game of the Day is in the Houston Astrodome.

The Phillies absolutely sucked in 1972. Except when Steve Carlton took the mound. They were 59-97 overall, but Carlton was 27-10. The Phillies were 29-11 when he pitched, meaning they were 30-86 when he didn't pitch. You've got to wonder how they only threw him out there 40 times. Carlton went to the mound on June 16 against Don Wilson of the Astros and they put on a pitching duel. Wilson was taken out of the scoreless game in the 7th. Don Money had singled to start the inning and Larry Bowa bunted him to second. Supposedly that would be so the next hitter had a chance to knock him in. At this point, the Astros decided to get a fresh pitcher in to face that hitter, so Tom Griffin came in. Carlton was the batter. He flied to center and the game stayed scoreless.

In the 9th, the Phillies put runners at 2nd and 3rd with nobody out. Carlton was the scheduled hitter. The Phillie bullpen was so solid that he was left in to hit and struck out. Good thing. In the bottom of the 9th Cesar Cedeno led off with a double and the meat of the lineup is coming up. Carlton intentionally walked Jimmy Wynn. Then he struck out Lee May, got Bob Watson to line out to left. He walked Doug Rader to load the bases, but the less formidable Tommy Helms came up and flied to center.

In the 10th, the Astros again got a runner to 2nd on a balk with nobody out. They bunted him to third with one out, but Carlton struck out Roger Metzger and got Cedeno to ground out and end another threat. The Phils got their leadoff man on in the 11th and bunted him to 2nd. Larry Bowa then popped up, meaning Carlton would be coming up with a man in scoring position and 2 out, just like the 9th. This time they lifted him for Oscar Gamble. Gamble singled, but the run couldn't score. The next batter groundd out. Dick Selma relieved and Jimmy Wynn promptly led off the bottom of the 11th with a homer. Sounds to me like that game was going to last as long as Carlton would.

1 comment:

  1. I grew up in Milwaukee and loved the Brewers since they came to town. Skip Lockwood, Marty Pattin, Lew Krausse, Bill Parsons...all mediocre at best pitchers, but to me they were superstars.

    Thanks for posting!