Wednesday, January 26, 2011
1989 Topps, Tim Birtsas
#103 Tim Birtsas
Here is another non-Padre that Rod sent me. Rod must have been cleaning out his 1989 binder or something because it seems like about half of the cards he sent me were from 1989.
This one features Tim Birtsas. Tim played in the Majors for parts of five seasons for the A's and Reds. He started his big league career as a starter for the A's in 1985. He went a respectable 10-6 in his rookie year with a 4.01 ERA. It is kind of surprising that he didn't have more losses and a higher ERA since he walked 91 batters that season in 141.1 innings.
After that season, Tim worked mostly out of he bullpen. He made two appearances for the A's in 1986 and he walked four batters in two innings while allowing five earned runs. His 1985 luck was not on his side that season.
Tim spent all of 1987 playing for the A's AAA team before he was dealt to the Reds after the season. He played for the Reds for three seasons and, in 1989, he recorded his lone Major League save and had a career best ERA of 3.75. He also recorded his only Major League hit that year when he hit a 1-2 pitch from Sid Fernandez into the right field bleachers at Riverfront Stadium. That is a cool stat to have.
Tim was involved in a couple of big trades. He was originally drafted by the Yankees, but he was packaged in the deal that took Rickey Henderson to New York. Three years later, he and Jose Rijo were shipped to the Reds for Dave Parker. Rijo was an integral part to the Reds 1990 World Championship. Birtsas, on the other hand, ended up getting sent to AAA in July of that season, only to get recalled when the rosters expanded in September. He did not play in the playoffs that season and was probably not even on the roster.
Tim was released after the season was over and he pitched in Japan in 1991.