Tim Stoddard

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Tim Stoddard
Pitcher
Born: (1953-01-24) January 24, 1953 (age 61)
East Chicago, Indiana
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 7, 1975 for the Chicago White Sox
Last MLB appearance
July 9, 1989 for the Cleveland Indians
Career statistics
Win–loss record 41–35
Earned run average 3.95
Strikeouts 582
Saves 76
Teams

Timothy Paul Stoddard (born January 24, 1953 in East Chicago, Indiana) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. He is one of only two men to have played in both a World Series and a Final Four of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship, along with fellow East Chicago Washington High School alumnus Kenny Lofton.

A right-handed pitcher, Stoddard pitched for the Chicago White Sox (1975), Baltimore Orioles (1978–83), Chicago Cubs (1984), San Diego Padres (1985–86), New York Yankees (1986–88) and Cleveland Indians (1989). Currently, he is the pitching coach for the baseball team at Northwestern University.

Basketball career[edit]

The 6'7" Stoddard was a member of the 1971 East Chicago Washington High School Senators basketball team, which went undefeated (29-0) and won the Indiana state high school basketball championship. Among his teammates were Pete Trgovich (who played at UCLA) and Junior Bridgeman (who played at Louisville and in the NBA).

Stoddard also lettered in basketball as well as baseball at North Carolina State University.[1] He was a starting forward on the 1973-74 Wolfpack’s NCAA Basketball champions, which featured future Basketball Hall-of-Famer David Thompson. The Wolfpack went 30-1 on the season, the lone loss coming to the Bill Walton-led UCLA Bruins. The Wolfpack gained revenge in the NCAA Tournament and defeated UCLA in the Final Four, ending UCLA's seven-year run as National Champions.

Baseball career[edit]

In 1975 Stoddard was signed by the Chicago White Sox, who released him after two minor league seasons. He reached the majors for good in 1979; that year, he pitched in 29 games, winning three and saving three others, with a 1.71 earned run average in 58 innings pitched. His Orioles won the American League pennant, but lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in the World Series after leading three games to one. In Game Four, Stoddard was the winning pitcher and drove in a run with an eighth-inning single, becoming the first player to drive in a World Series run in his very first at-bat. (At the time, the World Series only used the designated hitter in even-number years.)

Stoddard became the Orioles’ closer in 1980, pitching in a career-high 64 games and finishing fourth in the AL with 26 saves, which would stand as a single-season franchise record until Don Aase broke it with 34 saves in 1986. Over the next three years he shared the closer role with left-hander Tippy Martinez, but his 1983 earned run average ballooned to 6.09.

That year he was a member of the Orioles 1983 World Series champions. Stoddard did not pitch in the Series, which the Orioles won over the Philadelphia Phillies in five games, but he did become the only man ever to win a championship ring in both an NCAA basketball championship game and a World Series.

After the 1983 season Stoddard was traded to the Oakland Athletics for third baseman Wayne Gross. In spring training (March 26, 1984) he was again traded, this time to the Chicago Cubs for two minor league players. During the season, Stoddard pitched in 58 games and posted a 10-6 record and seven saves as the Cubs won the National League East title—their first postseason appearance since the 1945 World Series. The Cubs, however, lost to the San Diego Padres in the National League Championship Series after leading two games to none. After the season Stoddard signed with none other than the Padres as a free agent.

After pitching for the Padres for a year and a half, Stoddard was traded to the New York Yankees, where he pitched well and served mainly as a setup man for Dave Righetti. While pitching against the then-California Angels (today the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim) on September 5, 1987, Stoddard gave up the first-ever "broken bat" home run to Jack Howell.[2] Stoddard was released on August 14, 1988 after posting a 6.38 ERA. He pitched his final season (1989) with the Cleveland Indians, pitching in 12 games before being released on July 12.

In his career, Stoddard pitched in 485 games, all in relief. He won 41 games against 35 losses, with a 3.95 ERA and 582 strikeouts in 729⅔ innings pitched. Stoddard is one of only two men to play in both an NCAA Basketball Final Four game, and an MLB World Series. Stoddard also served as the baseball advisor and played the role of Dodger pitcher in the 1993 film Rookie of the Year.

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