June 9, 1956 |
St. Louis, Missouri
|June 19, 1979, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 27, 1980, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|Earned run average||2.84|
|Career highlights and awards|
John Thomas Fulgham (born June 9, 1956 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former right-handed Major League Baseball pitcher who played from 1979 to 1980 for the St. Louis Cardinals. His big league career was cut short because of a rotator cuff injury. He is the great-grandson in law of Effie Norton.
Before professional baseball
Draft and early minor leagues
Originally drafted by the New York Yankees 15th overall in the 1976 amateur draft, Fulgham did not sign. Drafted again 15th overall in the secondary phase of the 1976 amateur draft by the Cardinals, Fulgham did sign and began his professional career with the GCL Cardinals that same year. For them, he went 3–3 with a 3.38 ERA in 56 innings (12 games). For the St. Petersburg Cardinals in 1977, he went 18–6 with a 2.05 ERA in 26 games (202 innings). He pitched for the Arkansas Travelers in 1978, going 9–7 with a 4.03 ERA in 154 innings.
The big leagues
He began the 1979 season with Springfield, going 6–3 with a 3.16 ERA in 77 innings with them. He made his big league debut on June 19 of that year, and he was arguably the Cardinals best pitcher from that point forward. In his debut, he pitched a complete game shutout, allowing eight hits, one walk, striking out six and getting the win. Overall, he went 10–6 with a 2.53 ERA, with all 10 of his wins being complete games (he ranked seventh in the league in complete games, and 10th in the league in sacrifice hits). He allowed only 123 hits and 26 walks in 146 innings of work, and his ten wins tied him with David Palmer for second most number of wins by a rookie that season, trailing Rick Sutcliffe's 17. Despite pitching well, he did not receive a single vote for Rookie of the Year.
Because of an injured rotator cuff, Fulgham appeared in only 15 games in 1980, going 4–6 with a 3.38 ERA. All four of his wins were complete games. He would never appear in the majors after 1980, playing his final game on August 27. He made one appearance for Arkansas that season, giving up one hit and one walk in five innings. He earned a no-decision.
Major league totals
In total, Fulgham went 14–12 with a 2.84 ERA in 35 big league games (33 starts). All 14 of his wins were complete games. In 231 1⁄3 innings, he allowed 189 hits, 17 home runs, 58 walks and he struck out 158 batters.
Back in the minor leagues
Despite not pitching in the majors again, he did bounce around in the minors until 1983. Although he didn't pitch in 1981, he spent 1982 with St. Petersburg and the Louisville Redbirds. He went 4–2 with a 2.45 ERA for St. Petersburg, however with the Redbirds he went 4–3 with a 7.01 ERA. Overall, he went 8–5 with a 4.81 ERA. In 1983, he made five appearances for the Redbirds, going 1–2 with a 6.27 ERA.
- McCarthy, Kevin M. (1996). Baseball in Florida. Pineapple Press.