Curt Motton

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Curt Motton
Left fielder
Born: (1940-09-24)September 24, 1940
Darnell, Louisiana
Died: January 21, 2010(2010-01-21) (aged 69)
Parkton, Maryland
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 5, 1967 for the Baltimore Orioles
Last MLB appearance
October 2, 1974 for the Baltimore Orioles
Career statistics
Batting average .213
Home runs 25
Runs batted in 80
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Curtell Howard Motton (/ˈmtən/ MOH-tən; September 24, 1940 – January 21, 2010) was an American Major League Baseball outfielder. Mainly a reserve left fielder and pinch hitter, he was with the Baltimore Orioles when they won three consecutive American League pennants and a World Series from 1969 to 1971. He was nicknamed Cuz (short for cousin) because of his outgoing manner.

Minors[edit]

Motton played baseball at Encinal High School in Alameda, California, the same school that produced Willie Stargell and Tommy Harper.[2] He completed his education at Santa Rosa Junior College[3] and the University of California in Berkeley, CA.

Motton signed as an amateur free agent by the Chicago Cubs on July 20, 1961. After only one full campaign with the St. Cloud Rox in 1962, in which he hit .291 with 13 home runs and 69 runs batted in, he was selected by the Orioles in the 1962 first-year draft. Both he and Paul Blair powered the offense of the Harry Dunlop-managed Stockton Ports when they won the 1963 California League championship. Motton led the team in batting with a .333 average.[4]

He spent the next 1½ years away from the Orioles organization when he served in the United States Army at Fort Richardson. He managed to play organized baseball in 1964 with the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks, which also featured Tom Seaver, Graig Nettles and Rick Monday. He returned to the Orioles' farm system in 1965, and made his major league debut during the 1967 season.

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

Motton saw the most playing time in his career in 1968 when he platooned in left field with Curt Blefary. For the season, he batted only .198 with eight home runs and 25 RBIs, however, perhaps as a sign of things to come, he set a record by hitting a pinch hit home run[5] in consecutive pinch hit at-bats on May 15[6] and May 17.[7]

In 1969, infielder Don Buford was converted into an outfielder, relegating Motton to pinch hitting duties. Motton shined in his new role, batting .303 with six home runs and 21 RBIs for the season. Perhaps his most memorable pinch hit at-bat came on October 5 against the Minnesota Twins in the 1969 American League Championship Series. With the score tied at zero in the eleventh inning, Motton singled in Boog Powell for the only run of the game.[8]

1972 season[edit]

Motton remained with the Orioles through 1971, winning a World Series with the team in 1970. Prior to the start of the 1972 season, Motton was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later and cash. Expected to compete for one of the starting outfield jobs,[9] he ended up being beat out by John Briggs and Joe Lahoud. Motton was critical of manager Dave Bristol over his lack of playing time, and was traded to the California Angels for minor league pitcher Archie Reynolds just over a month into the season.[10] He batted just .156 for his two clubs, and began the 1973 season assigned to the Angels' triple A affiliate, the Salt Lake City Angels. After batting just .152 in 28 games for Salt Lake, the Angels released Motton, and he returned to the Orioles. Motton appeared in just seven more games for the Orioles over the next two seasons.

Death[edit]

Motton died after a long battle with stomach cancer at his home in Parkton, Maryland on January 21, 2010.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame". 
  2. ^ "Headed For Home: Curt Motton 1940-2010". January 26, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Santa Rosa Junior College". Baseball-Reference.com. 
  4. ^ 1963 Stockton Ports (statistics) – Baseball-Reference.com.
  5. ^ Matt Taylor (September 4, 2009). "Flashback Friday: Curt Motton Wins Game 2 of 1969 ALCS". 
  6. ^ "Baltimore Orioles 10, Detroit Tigers 8". Baseball-Reference.com. May 15, 1968. 
  7. ^ "Baltimore Orioles 6, Cleveland Indians 2". Baseball-Reference.com. May 17, 1968. 
  8. ^ "1969 American League Championship Series, Game Two". Baseball-Reference.com. October 5, 1969. 
  9. ^ Larry Whiteside (December 10, 1971). "Brewers Get Orioles' Motton". The Milwaukee Journal. 
  10. ^ "Motton Traded, Blasts Bristol". The Owosso Argus-Press. May 27, 1972. 
  11. ^ Bruce Markusen (January 25, 2010). "Remembering Curt Motton". 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Johnny Oates
Baltimore Orioles First Base coach
1991
Succeeded by
Davey Lopes