Tim Blackwell

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Tim Blackwell
Catcher
Born: (1952-08-19) August 19, 1952 (age 62)
San Diego, California
Batted: Switch Threw: Right
MLB debut
July 3, 1974 for the Boston Red Sox
Last MLB appearance
May 17, 1983 for the Montreal Expos
Career statistics
Batting average .228
Home runs 6
Runs batted in 80
Teams

Timothy P. Blackwell (born August 19, 1952 in San Diego, California) is an American former professional baseball player, coach and minor league manager.[1] He played as a catcher in Major League Baseball from 1974 to 1983 for the Boston Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies, the Chicago Cubs and the Montreal Expos.[1] He was a switch-hitter who threw right-handed. Blackwell was known as a light-hitting, defensive specialist with good pitch-calling skills and, possessed a strong, accurate throwing arm.[1][2]

Minor league baseball career[edit]

Blackwell was drafted at the age of 17 by the Boston Red Sox in the 13th round of the 1970 Major League Baseball Draft.[3] He began his professional baseball career that same year with the Jamestown Falcons of the New York-Pennsylvania League.[4] After three years at the Single A level, he was moved up to the Double A level with the Bristol Red Sox of the Eastern League.[4] In 1973, he posted a .283 batting average along with 5 home runs and 38 runs batted in which, earned him a promotion to the Triple A level in 1974 with the Pawtucket Red Sox of the International League.[4]

Major League Baseball career[edit]

Blackwell made his major league debut at the age of 21 during a pennant race in July 1974, filling in for an injured Carlton Fisk while the Red Sox were in first place in the American League Eastern Division.[2][5] Unfortunately, the Red Sox faltered at the end of the season, falling to third place in the final standings.[6] Blackwell was a reserve catcher behind Fisk and Bob Montgomery in 1975 as the Red Sox won the American League Eastern Division title. Although he provided good defensive abilities, he only had a .197 batting average and, the Red Sox elected to use Montgomery as reserve catcher in the post-season as, they defeated the Oakland Athletics in the 1975 American League Championship Series, before losing to the Cincinnati Reds in the 1975 World Series.[7]

In April 1976, Blackwell was purchased from the Red Sox by the Philadelphia Phillies.[8] He served as a reserve catcher behind Bob Boone before being traded to the Montreal Expos in 1977 for Barry Foote.[8] After hitting for a .091 average as Gary Carter's back up, Blackwell was released by the Expos in January 1978 and, signed a contract to play for the Chicago Cubs.[2] With the Cubs he played as a reserve catcher behind Dave Rader and Barry Foote, who had been traded by the Phillies. When Foote was injured in 1980, Blackwell became the Cubs starting catcher, posting career-highs with a .272 batting average along with 16 doubles, 5 home runs and 30 runs batted in.[1] He also led National League catchers in double plays, range factor and baserunners caught stealing, and finished second in assists behind Gary Carter.[9] In 1981, Jody Davis took over as the Cubs main catcher, although Blackwell still managed to finish second among the league's catchers with a .993 fielding percentage in 56 games.[10][11] Blackwell was granted free agency at the end of the season and, he signed with the Montreal Expos where he served as a reserve catcher behind Gary Carter for one season before retiring as a player in May 1983 at the age of 30.[8]

Career statistics[edit]

In a ten-year major league career, Blackwell played in 426 games, accumulating 238 hits in 1,044 at bats for a .228 career batting average along with 6 home runs, 80 runs batted in and a .328 on-base percentage.[1] He ended his career with a .981 fielding percentage.[1] While he was a light-hitting catcher, Blackwell had a strong throwing arm with a quick release and, was a good pitch caller.[12]

Managing career[edit]

Following his playing career, Blackwell became a catching instructor and coach with Toronto Blue Jays organisation, and then became a minor league manager for the Baltimore Orioles, Colorado Rockies, Milwaukee Brewers, San Francisco Giants and New York Mets organizations.[2][13] He managed the 1989 Pittsfield Mets of the New York-Penn League to the playoffs and garnered Manager of the Year honors, and then led the Columbia Mets to the South Atlantic League championship in 1991.[2][13] He last managed the Winston-Salem Warthogs of the Class A Carolina League in 2008.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Tim Blackwell statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Tim Blackwell at the SABR Bio Project, by John Vorperian, retrieved 2 January 2015
  3. ^ "1970 Major League Baseball Draft 13th Round". thebaseballcube.com. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  4. ^ a b c "Tim Blackwell minor league statistics". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  5. ^ Baseball Digest's 1974 Rookie All-Star Team, Baseball Digest, November 1974, Vol. 33, No. 11, ISSN 0005-609X
  6. ^ "1974 Boston Red Sox season". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  7. ^ "1975 Boston Red Sox season". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c "Tim Blackwell Trades and Transactions". baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  9. ^ "1980 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  10. ^ "1981 National League Fielding Leaders". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  11. ^ "1981 Chicago Cubs". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 
  12. ^ Baseball Digest, December 2002, Vol. 61, No. 12, ISSN 0005-609X
  13. ^ a b c "Tim Blackwell minor league manager record". Baseball Reference. Retrieved 2 January 2015. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mike O'Berry
Frederick Keys Manager
1996
Succeeded by
Julio Gargia
Preceded by
Bob Miscik
Bowie Baysox Manager
1996
Succeeded by
Tim Ferguson