July 29, 1951 |
|September 7, 1975, for the San Francisco Giants|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 29, 1990, for the California Angels|
|Earned run average||3.10|
|Career highlights and awards|
Gregory Brian Minton (born July 29, 1951), nicknamed "Moon Man", is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) right-handed pitcher who played for the California Angels and San Francisco Giants. Minton enjoyed a 16-year major league career, from 1975 to 1990, and was a member of the 1982 National League All-Star Team.
A crippling injury in 1979 caused Minton to alter his delivery. Instead of using his high leg kick, Minton shortened his stride to take pressure off his knee. The new delivery gave Minton a 92-mph sinker that batters were unable to drive. Minton went three full seasons (269 1⁄3 innings) without allowing a home run until John Stearns homered against him on May 2, 1982. This is the longest such streak in the post-1920 live-ball era. On August 14, 1986, Minton gave up the last of Pete Rose's MLB record 4,256 career hits.
In 1989, Minton made 62 appearances in relief. He earned eight saves and a 2.20 earned run average (ERA). Over portions of 1988 and 1989, he pitched another 105 2⁄3 consecutive innings without giving up a home run, which was the longest stretch of this type by any pitcher in Angels history. He signed a one-year extension for 1990 worth $850,000. He spent much of the 1990 season on the disabled list with elbow problems, and he pitched only 15 1⁄3 innings before announcing his retirement that October.
Consecutive innings pitched without allowing a home run (modern era) 269.1 – Greg Minton, San Francisco Giants – June 1, 1979 through May 1, 1982
After his career as a player, Minton was a pitching coach in the California Angels organization and managed the independent Lubbock Crickets for two years.
Minton's nickname, "Moon Man," stemmed from various escapades such as the hijacking of the team bus and the flooding of a minor league ballpark so he could leave Amarillo one day early at the end of the season.
- Fimrite, Ron (June 8, 1981). "Hitters don't gopher Greg". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- Elliott, Helene (February 22, 1990). "Angels' Minton accepts $850,000 deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- Penner, Mike (October 7, 1990). "Moon Man blasts off to retirement". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 10, 2016.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference