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Rollie Fingers

Rollie Fingers

Position(s):
P
Born:
August 25, 1946
Bats:
Right
Throws:
Right
Height:
6' 4"
Weight:
190 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-15-1968 with OAK
Allstar Selections:
1974 WsMVP, 1977 RR, 1978 RR, 1980 RR, 1981 CY, 1981 MVP, 1981 RR
Hall of Fame:
1992

Intro

Fingers was the quintessential reliever of his time, used when the situation demanded. He would often enter the game as early as the fifth inning, throwing as many as 120-130 innings in relief for a season. He was known for his handlebar mustache, which he first grew as a member of the Oakland A's "Mustache Gang" in response to owner Charlie Finley's cash incentive.

Unform Number

#32 (1968), #34 (1969-1982, 1984-1985)

Best Season

He was as close to automatic as a reliever had ever been. In 78 innings he walked just 13 and flashed a 1.04 ERA. He saved 28 and won six, figuring in 55% of Milwaukee's victories in the strike-shortened season. He won both the Cy Young and the MVP award

Factoid 1

Rollie Fingers recorded the final out of the 1972 World Series, Oakland's first championship. He pitched the last two innings for the save.

Factoid 2

Rollie Fingers earned the win or a save in eight of Oakland's 12 victories in their three World Series championships, from 1972-1974.

Transition

December 24, 1964: Signed by the Kansas City Athletics as an amateur free agent; November 1, 1976: Granted Free Agency; December 14, 1976: Signed as a Free Agent with the San Diego Padres; December 8, 1980: Traded by the San Diego Padres with a player to be named later, Bob Shirley, and Gene Tenace to the St. Louis Cardinals for Terry Kennedy, Steve Swisher, Mike Phillips, John Littlefield, John Urrea, Kim Seaman, and Al Olmsted. The San Diego Padres sent Bob Geren (December 10, 1980) to the St. Louis Cardinals to complete the trade; December 12, 1980: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals with Ted Simmons and Pete Vuckovich to the Milwaukee Brewers for Sixto Lezcano, David Green, Lary Sorensen, and Dave LaPoint; November 8, 1984: Granted Free Agency; January 16, 1985: Signed as a Free Agent with the Milwaukee Brewers; November 14, 1985: Released by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Strengths

His rubber arm. Fingers pitched at least 100 innings in relief eight times in his career.

Weaknesses

None. Fingers was durable, had excellent control, rarely gave up the longball, was a fine defensive pitcher, and he even hit the ball well, though his batting record was erratic after the DH was implemented.

Strange Deals

Rollie Fingers was part of a few historic deals and non-deals during his career. On June 18, 1976, A's owner Charlie Finley announced he had swapped Fingers and Joe Rudi to the Boston Red Sox, and also that he had sold Vida Blue to the New York Yankees. However, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided the deals, citing that they were "not in the best interest of baseball." While an enraged Finley sued MLB, the A's sat Fingers, Rudi and Blue on the bench until the issue was resolved in Kuhn's favor in June. Fingers was briefly a St. Louis Cardinal. On December 8, 1980, the San Diego Padres dealt their star reliever to St. Louis in an 11-player trade that brought Terry Kennedy to San Diego. Just four days later, Whitey Herzog, having already acquired Bruce Sutter to be his closer from the Chicago Cubs, sent Fingers packing again. The Cards' mastermind sent Fingers, Ted Simmons, and Pete Vuckovich to the Milwaukee Brewers for Lary Sorensen, Sixto Lezcano, and minor leaguers David Green and Dave LaPoint. In so doing, Herzog traded the next two winner's of the AL Cy Young award to Milwaukee. But he got the last laugh, defeating Milwaukee in the 1982 World Series in seven games.

This day in baseball history

August 21

  • 1982

    On August 21, 1982, Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers ...

  • 1975

    On August 21, 1975, brothers Rick and Paul Reuschel of the C ...

  • 1975

    On August 21, 1975, Tony Conigliaro of the Boston Red Sox an ...

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Tagged:
1972 World Series, 1973 World Series, Baseball History, Cy Young Award, Hall of Fame, MVP, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, Rollie Fingers, San Diego Padres

Comments

  • Anonymous said: HIs mustache is beautiful, I wonder if it was the source of his power? 12:35PM 11/16/11
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