Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Tuesday's Tom Griffin: 30 Years Ago Today
I knew I recognized Tom Griffin's name but couldn't quite place why until I flipped the card over. "Oh, okay," I thought immediately upon seeing that his first season was with the '69 Astros. The place I'd seen his name hundreds of times before was in the pages of Ball Four. Griffin stayed in Houston until August of '76 when the Padres picked him up off the waiver wire. In the small sample size of eleven starts the remainder of that season, Tom seemed to turn a corner, putting up a 2.94 ERA in contrast to the 6.05 he posted for Houston in 20 games earlier in the year, mostly in relief. He didn't fare quite as well for the Friars in 1977 but still performed adequately enough to stay with the club all season; being used in a swingman role likely contributed to the dip in his numbers. After '77, Griffin got his first taste of free agency, which was still brand new to baseball. He signed with the then-California Angels and was released after the season. After heading north to San Francisco, Griffin put together three of his most solid seasons before being traded to Pittsburgh after the '81 season. He would last only six games with the Pirates before being released thirty years ago to the day.