Craig Swan

Craig Steven Swan (born November 30, 1950) was a Major League Baseball pitcher from 1973 to 1984 for the New York Mets and California Angels. Swan's best season came in 1978 when he posted a 9–6 win–loss record and led the National League with an earned run average of 2.43. This was significant as the Mets were in the National League East cellar that year. Swan featured a fastball between 90 and 95 miles per hour with good movement and an occasional slider.[1]

Craig Swan
Pitcher
Born: November 30, 1950 (age 68)
Van Nuys, California
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 3, 1973, for the New York Mets
Last MLB appearance
May 29, 1984, for the California Angels
MLB statistics
Win–loss record59–72
Earned run average3.74
Strikeouts673
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Early life & career

Swan was born in Van Nuys, California. At age 14, he pitched for Long Beach in the PONY League, hurled a no-hitter, and was invited to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium before Game 5 of the 1965 World Series; his pitch was televised and can be seen on the TV broadcast, with announcer Ray Scott describing his pitching exploits. At age 17, was picked in the 23rd round of the 1968 Major League Baseball draft by the St. Louis Cardinals. Rather than sign as a low-round pick, Swan attended Arizona State University. In the 1972 College World Series, Swan allowed only one run in 18 innings pitched for a 0.50 ERA – tied for the best ever for 18 or more innings.[2] For his efforts, he was named to the All-Tournament Team but Arizona State lost to the University of Southern California in the championship game.[3][4]

Swan was chosen by the Mets in the third round of the 1972 Major League Baseball draft. He spent most of 1972 to 1975 in the minor leagues with only brief (and poor) stints in the majors. One of his better early performances came on May 11, 1974, when he personally out-played the opposition by collecting a career-high three hits, knocking in one run, and scoring another at the plate while allowing no runs on four hits over six innings on the mound. Later that season, he broke his elbow and missed significant playing time.[1] He returned successfully and, in 1975, was named the International League Most Valuable Pitcher.[5]

Productive years

Swan broke into the majors for good in 1976. In the Mets' last good season of the decade, Swan was the fifth starter and posted statistics slightly below the league average with a 3.54 ERA and a 6–9 record. His highlight was his first victory of the season when he pitched a five-hit complete game shutout with 11 strikeouts. He was inconsistent for the season. After four terrible starts, the following three starts resulted in just a single earned run on 13 hits and four walks over 26 innings with 21 strikeouts — a fantastic 0.35 ERA.

In 1977, Swan's numbers declined slightly but so did the rest of the team's as number one starter, Jerry Koosman, lost 20 games and the Mets sank into last place in the division.

In 1978, the Mets struggled to a 66–96 record but Swan started the season with a five-hit complete game shutout, the third of his career. In the second game of a July 4, 1978 doubleheader, Swan logged a career-high 13 strikeouts but surrendered two ninth-inning runs to lose the game 3–2. The loss dropped his record to 1–5 despite a very good 2.66 ERA. Swan's ERA continued improving and he won his next seven decisions. On September 16, he allowed one run and three hits over nine innings but was again denied a win. At season's end, Swan had the best ERA in the National League as well as the second-best WHIP and second-best hits per nine innings. His ERA was only 1.67 at Shea Stadium. Despite his excellent statistics, he finished with only a 9–6 record. The Mets were the third-worst pitching team in the league, and they finished with the worst record in the N.L.

1979 was another good season for Swan and was also his most active. He set career highs in innings pitched, games started, complete games, shutouts and BFP. Swan was the lone bright spot for the Mets' pitching staff. His 14 wins were not only a career-best but were more than any two of his teammates combined. The Mets finished with 99 losses, again last in the National League.

After his two good seasons for the Mets, Swan signed a contract which made him the highest paid pitcher in Mets history at the time.[1] In response, he began 1980 with an even better ERA than either 1978 or 1979. In mid-June, he was 5–4 with a 2.21 ERA for another terrible Mets team. After losing his next four decisions, Swan was placed on the disabled list in mid-July with what turned out to be a torn rotator cuff.[1] He made two more starts a month later but pitched poorly in the first start, left the second start after only two innings, and was done for the season. He started 1981 with a loss but left his second game after only one batter in a freak play. Swan began the game by walking the first batter of the game on four straight pitches. On the fifth pitch of the game – also a ball – the runner on first base starting running to second base in order to "steal" second base. But Swan's rib was fractured when Ron Hodges—the Mets' catcher at the time—nailed him in the back with his throw towards second base when trying (unsuccessfully) to throw the runner out at second base. As a result, Swan landed on the disabled list. He returned more than a month later and made two relief appearances before the 1981 Major League Baseball strike cancelled the next two months. When play resumed, Swan was back on the disabled list and made only one more start the rest of the season.

After missing almost all of 1981 with a rotator cuff injury, and the aforementioned broken rib[1] and a baseball strike, Swan returned well in 1982 and finished second to Joe Morgan for the N.L. Comeback Player of the Year Award. His 11 wins were again the highest total on the team and he was the only pitcher on the team with a winning record and more than three decisions. For the first time in his career, he accumulated significant time as a relief pitcher and managed a fantastic 1.30 ERA in the new role. Swan even hit the only home run of his career on August 4 (although the event was drowned out when his teammate, Joel Youngblood, made history the same day by becoming the only player in major league history to play for two teams in two cities in one day).

Winding down

After his good comeback year of 1982, Swan felt something pop in his arm during a spring training game in 1983.[1] He pitched through the injury but it severely limited his endurance. He was again effective in relief but his ERA as a starter rose to a terrible 6.22. In 1984, while the Mets were finally ending years of futility, Swan managed only ten awful relief appearances before being released on May 9. The California Angels signed him two weeks later but he was benched for good after two more bad appearances which were the last of his career.

Post-retirement

After numerous injuries forced the end of his career, Swan used the medical knowledge he obtained from his ordeals to invest himself in the technique known as Rolfing. He graduated from the Rolf Institute in Boulder, Colorado and opened a practice in Connecticut.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g Czerwinski, Kevin T. (2002-01-11). "Where have you gone, Craig Swan?". MLB.com. Retrieved 2006-10-11.
  2. ^ "CWS Record Book". College World Series of Omaha, Inc. Archived from the original on 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
  3. ^ "All Tournament Teams". College World Series of Omaha, Inc. Archived from the original on 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
  4. ^ "Past CWS Champions". College World Series of Omaha, Inc. Archived from the original on 2006-10-30. Retrieved 2006-10-28.
  5. ^ "Award Winners – Most Valuable Pitchers". Minorleaguebaseball.com. Retrieved 2006-10-28.

External links

1968 Major League Baseball draft

The 1968 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft took place prior to the 1968 MLB season. The draft saw the New York Mets take shortstop Tim Foli first overall.

1969 Arizona State Sun Devils baseball team

The 1969 Arizona State Sun Devils baseball team represented Arizona State University in the 1969 NCAA University Division baseball season. The team was coached by Bobby Winkles in his 11th season at Arizona State.

The Sun Devils won the College World Series, defeating the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the championship game.

1969 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament

The 1969 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 1969 NCAA University Division baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its twenty-third year. Eight regional districts sent representatives to the College World Series with preliminary rounds within each district serving to determine each representative. These events would later become known as regionals. Each district had its own format for selecting teams, resulting in 23 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The twenty-third tournament's champion was Arizona State, coached by Bobby Winkles. The Most Outstanding Player was John Dolinsek of Arizona State.

1972 College Baseball All-America Team

An All-American team is an honorary sports team composed of the best amateur players of a specific season for each team position—who in turn are given the honorific "All-America" and typically referred to as "All-American athletes", or simply "All-Americans". Although the honorees generally do not compete together as a unit, the term is used in U.S. team sports to refer to players who are selected by members of the national media. Walter Camp selected the first All-America team in the early days of American football in 1889.From 1947 to 1980, the American Baseball Coaches Association was the only All-American selector recognized by the NCAA.

1972 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament

The 1972 NCAA University Division Baseball Tournament was played at the end of the 1972 NCAA University Division baseball season to determine the national champion of college baseball. The tournament concluded with eight teams competing in the College World Series, a double-elimination tournament in its twenty-sixth year. Eight regional districts sent representatives to the College World Series with preliminary rounds within each district serving to determine each representative. These events would later become known as regionals. Each district had its own format for selecting teams, resulting in 28 teams participating in the tournament at the conclusion of their regular season, and in some cases, after a conference tournament. The twenty-sixth tournament's champion was Southern California, coached by Rod Dedeaux. The Most Outstanding Player was Russ McQueen of the University of Southern California.

1974 New York Mets season

The 1974 New York Mets season was the 13th regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Led by manager Yogi Berra, the team finished the season with a record of 71–91, placing fifth in the National League East. This was the first time the Mets had a losing season since 1968.

1975 New York Mets season

The 1975 New York Mets season was the 14th regular season for the Mets, who played their home games at Shea Stadium. Initially led by manager Yogi Berra followed by Roy McMillan, the team had an 82–80 record and finished in third-place in the National League's Eastern Division.

1978 Cincinnati Reds season

The 1978 Cincinnati Reds season was a season in American baseball. The Reds finished in second place in the National League West with a record of 92-69, 2½ games behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Reds were managed by Sparky Anderson and played their home games at Riverfront Stadium. Following the season, Anderson was replaced as manager by John McNamara, and Pete Rose left to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies for the 1979 season.

1978 New York Mets season

The 1978 New York Mets season was the 17th regular season for the Mets, who played their home games at Shea Stadium. Led by manager Joe Torre, the team had a 66–96 record and finished in sixth place in the National League East.

1979 New York Mets season

The 1979 New York Mets season was the 18th regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Led by manager Joe Torre, the team had a 63–99 record and finished in sixth place in the National League's Eastern Division.

1979 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1979 Philadelphia Phillies season was a season in American baseball. The team finished fourth in the National League East, 14 games behind the first-place Pittsburgh Pirates.

1980 New York Mets season

The 1980 New York Mets season was the 19th regular season for the Mets, who played home games at Shea Stadium. Led by manager Joe Torre, the team had a 67–95 record and finished in fifth place in the National League East.

1982 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1982 season was the 100th season in Philadelphia Phillies franchise history. During the season, Steve Carlton would be the last pitcher to win at least 20 games in one season for the Phillies in the 20th century. He would also become the first pitcher to win four Cy Young Awards in a career. The 1982 Phillies finished the season with an 89-73 record, placing them in second place in the NL East, three games behind the World Champion St. Louis Cardinals.

1983 Philadelphia Phillies season

The 1983 Philadelphia Phillies season included the Phillies winning the National League East Division title with a record of 90–72, by a margin of six games over the Pittsburgh Pirates. They defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, three games to one in the National League Championship Series, before losing the World Series to the Baltimore Orioles, four games to one. The Phillies celebrated their centennial in 1983, were managed by Pat Corrales (43–42) and Paul Owens (47–30), and played their home games at Veterans Stadium.

1984 California Angels season

The California Angels 1984 season involved the Angels finishing 2nd in the American League west with a record of 81 wins and 81 losses.

1984 New York Mets season

The New York Mets' 1984 season was the 23rd regular season for the Mets. They went 90–72 and finished in second place in the National League East. They were managed by Davey Johnson. They played home games at Shea Stadium.

1990 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1990 followed the system in place since 1978.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected two, Joe Morgan and Jim Palmer.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected no one.

List of New York Mets Opening Day starting pitchers

The New York Mets are a Major League Baseball (MLB) franchise based in Flushing, Queens, in New York City. They play in the National League East division. The first game of the new baseball season for a team is played on Opening Day, and being named the Opening Day starter is an honor, which is often given to the player who is expected to lead the pitching staff that season, though there are various strategic reasons why a team's best pitcher might not start on Opening Day. The New York Mets have used 27 different Opening Day starting pitchers in their 58 seasons. The 27 starters have a combined Opening Day record of 29 wins, 13 losses (29–13) and 16 no decisions. No decisions are only awarded to the starting pitcher if the game is won or lost after the starting pitcher has left the game.

Tom Seaver holds the Mets' record for most Opening Day starts with 11, and has an Opening Day record of 6–0. He also has the most starts in Shea Stadium, the Mets' home ballpark from 1964 through 2008. Seaver and Dwight Gooden hold the Mets' record for most Opening Day wins with six each. Al Jackson and Roger Craig share the worst winning percentage as the Opening Day starting pitcher with a record of 0–2.

From 1968 through 1983, Mets' Opening Day starting pitchers went 16 consecutive years without a loss. During this period, Tom Seaver won six starts with five no decisions, Craig Swan won two starts, and Jerry Koosman, Pat Zachry and Randy Jones won one start apiece. Furthermore, in the 31-year period from 1968 through 1998, Mets' Opening Day starting pitchers only lost two games. During that period, they won 19 games with 10 no decisions. The only losses during this period were by Mike Torrez in 1984 and by Dwight Gooden in 1990.

Overall, Mets Opening Day starting pitchers have a record of 0–1 at the Polo Grounds, a 12–5 record with five no decisions at Shea Stadium and a 3–0 record with three no decisions at Citi Field. In addition, although the Mets were nominally the home team in 2000, the game was played in Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan. Mike Hampton started the game in Tokyo and lost, making the Mets' Opening Day starting pitchers' combined home record 15–7, and their away record 14–6. The Mets went on to play in the World Series in 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000 and 2015, and won the 1969 and 1986 World Series championship games. Tom Seaver (1969 and 1973), Dwight Gooden (1986), Mike Hampton (2000) and Bartolo Colón (2015) were the Opening Day starting pitchers when the Mets played in the World Series, and they had a combined Opening Day record of 3–1 with one no decision.

Languages

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.