- May 19, 1955
- 6' 3"
- 195 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 9-04-1977 with PIT
Ed Whitson's career is best defined by the series of transactions involving him. A promising prospect for Pittsburgh, Whitson was a key to the deal that sent Bill Madlock to the Pirates. Whitson‚ was dealt with Al Holland‚ and Fred Breining to the Giants for Pitchers Dave Roberts and infielders Madlock and Lenny Randle. Madlock‚ whose average dropped after the Giants moved him to 2B‚ will rebound with the Bucs hitting .328 in 79, and became a key member of the "we are family" World Champion Pirates. He won two more batting titles in 1981 and 1983.
After the 1981 season, he went to Cleveland for veteran second baseman Duane Kuiper. He spent a frustrating year in the Indians' bullpen before moving to San Diego for Juan Eichelberger and Broderick Perkins. Kuiper hit one homer in 8 years and as a parting gift the Indians give him a plaque of the seat where the homer landed.
After an injury-riddled 1983, Whitson attained his best season in 1984, going 14-8 with a 3.24 ERA. He was the first pitcher to win a postseason game for San Diego, the crucial third game of the Championship Series against the Cubs. Whitson pitched poorly in the World Series however as the Padres lost to the Tigers in 5 games.
He made a disastrous mistake by signing with the Yankees as a free agent for 1985. Temperamental Whitson was never comfortable in The Big Apple. Not only did he pitch poorly in pinstripes, it got so bad that he refused to pitch in Yankee Stadium in front of fans who booed him mercilessly. On September, 22 things got worse, One night after scuffling with a patron in the bar of the Cross Keys Inn‚ the Yankees' Baltimore hotel‚ manager Billy Martin has his right arm broken by pitcher Ed Whitson in an early-morning brawl in the same bar. He managed to go 10-8 despite a 4.88 ERA in 1985 due to fantastic run support.
When he pitched like crap early in 1986, Whitson was relegated to the bullpen. On Jul 9, 1986 - The Padres trade P Tim Stoddard to the Yankees for P Ed Whitson‚ who had become the target of such fan abuse in New York that manager Lou Piniella would no longer pitch him in Yankee Stadium.
Whitson was so bitter about his brief foray as a Yankee that he refused to sign autographs of photos or baseball cards that depicted him as a Yankee. He also refused to pitch in Shea Stadium, lest he be booed by Yankee fans there. He was the Padres' top winner in 1987 (10-13) and 1989 (16-11).
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