Wednesday, October 7, 2015

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #176 MIKE STANTON

LEFTY SLUGGER NEUTRALIZER FOR 19 YEARS.




IS HE THROWING RIGHT-HANDED HERE?





DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Trivia time. Reliever Mike Stanton is the all-time leader in what category: 1) Saves? 2) Hit batters? 3) Holds? If you zeroed in on 3, you spend too much time on Baseball-Reference.com. Stanton amassed 266 during his 19-year career with eight teams. Does it need to be said he threw left-handed and pitched until he was 40? Stats aside, Stanton was a valuable bullpen member during the majority of the Yankees' late-'90s dynasty.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • Stanton's typical steady relief work helped the Yankees get the early jump on the Mets in Game 1 of the '00 World Series on Oct. 21. He came in to pitch in the 11th inning, spinning two perfect innings with three strikeouts, as New York won 4-3 in 12. It was his first of two victories in the five-game Series.

DEFINING SEASON

  • An All-Star for the first and only time in his career in '01, Stanton won nine games in relief and had 23 holds and a 2.58 ERA in 76 games.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. Taken by the Braves in the 13th round of the '87 draft.
  2. Had a breakout season with the Braves in '93 when he saved 27 games.
  3. Lost his job next year to Greg McMichael and never again reached double-figures in saves.
  4. In 55.2 postseason innings covering 53 games, Stanton fashioned a 2.10 ERA and five victories.
  5. The hold became an official MLB statistic in '99 and is defined as entering a game with a lead and holding said lead. Yes, not exactly the pantheon of baseball stats.

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