Jim Slaton

This article was written by Issac Buttke

Jim Slaton (MILWAUKEE BREWERS)Everyone knows about John Smoltz’s dominance as both a starter and as a reliever. Same with Dennis Eckersley. Little do people know they were hardly the first people to be widely praised at both spots in the pitching staff. Though he started his career as a highly touted starting-pitcher prospect, Jim Slaton eventually moved to the bullpen and proved to be a major cog in the Milwaukee Brewers’ bullpen for their 1982 World Series push. Based on his early successes, Slaton had many people thinking he would be as good as Smoltz would ever become, if not better. Brewers broadcaster Merle Harmon stated early on, “I don’t want to exaggerate, but [fellow Brewer pitcher] (Bill) Parsons and (Jim) Slaton have a chance to be superstars.”1 Slaton even garnered a comparison to an all-time-great hurler. Former Brewers general manager Frank Lane said, “Slaton reminds me a lot of Tom Seaver in the way he works.”2 Things may not have panned out as well as Harmon and Lane had hoped, but Slaton certainly played a major role for the Brewers throughout his career.

James Michael Slaton was born on June 19, 1950, in Long Beach, California. He was the younger of two children, both sons. His family moved a couple of hours north by the time he got into high school, enrolling him at Antelope Valley High School in Lancaster, California. While there, Jim played both football and baseball. However, he decided to focus on baseball upon going to Antelope Valley College, just up the road. 

His stay at the local college was brief, though. He entered the major-league first-year player draft while he was still 18 years old and was selected in the 15th round by the Seattle Pilots, 357th overall. Slaton was hardly the headliner of the team’s selections; Gorman Thomas had been made the Pilots’ first pick, 14 rounds earlier. This draft also featured the likes of Hall of Famers Bert Blyleven and Dave Winfield.

In his first year of professional baseball, Slaton hit the ground running. In 149 innings split between the rotation and the bullpen of multiple low-level Pilots affiliates, he produced a 3.02 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He even fired seven complete games, collected two saves, and tossed a one-hitter during his time with Class-A Clinton (Midwest League). It appeared the Pilots had stolen a diamond in the rough in the 15th round of the draft before folding and moving to Milwaukee.

Slaton’s second season began auspiciously as well. He threw complete games in his first two starts, allowing four runs (three earned) while striking out 15 batters. His season was cut short immediately after the second start, however. It wasn’t due to injury. As many players before him had done, Slaton left professional baseball for the summer months to serve in the Army National Guard.3

Because of the time he missed during the regular season, the Brewers sent the young right-hander to the Puerto Rican Winter League. He joined the Mayaguez squad (featuring Mike Cuellar, Mike Wegener, and Bill Parsons) partway through the campaign and collected a victory in his first appearance.4

Slaton’s unusual path took another turn for the better, as the Brewers liked what they saw in Puerto Rico and 1971 spring training enough to give him a major-league roster spot without his ever having thrown a pitch above Class A. Manager Dave Bristol defended the decision with his own take on the righty:

“He first caught my eye in the Arizona Instructional League. I knew he had good stuff and we sent him to play winter ball in Puerto Rico. He improved there and, when spring training ended, we thought enough of him to bring him along. Sure he’s young, but he’s got a good arm and he’s coachable.”5

Pitching coach Wes Stock also had good things to say about Slaton after spring training:

“He kept improving and improving. Each time out, he looked better. He’s a good kid and he’s smart. He’s got a good arm and you have to tell him something only once and he’s got it.”6

To many, Slaton’s emergence was a complete surprise. Not only did the 20-year-old have few minor-league innings to his name, but the military service in his second season made his leap to the majors all the more improbable. “I never threw a ball while I was in the service,” the youngster said.7 Slaton seemed surprised when the Brewers gave him a roster spot. “I had a good spring, but I didn’t know that I was coming north with the club until two days before the camp broke,” he said.8

That isn’t to say Slaton didn’t have his warts. Stock commented, “His only problem was a tendency to drop his elbow on his curveball. When he does that, it comes in like a lollypop.”9 Slaton said he wanted to add another pitch to his repertoire: “My fastball is pretty good and so is my curve. Now I’d like to develop a changeup.”10

Regardless of the high praise and shortcomings noted by himself and his coaching staff, Slaton had an overall solid rookie season for Milwaukee “Kiddie Korps.” He achieved a 10-8 record with a 3.78 ERA, five complete games and four shutouts in 147⅔ innings pitched. This had him in the conversation for the Rookie of the Year Award,11 which was won by Chris Chambliss of the Cleveland Indians.

Some hitters suggested something else was helping Slaton succeed in his first season. Wrote Jerome Holtzman in The Sporting News, “The hitters are saying that Jim Slaton, the Milwaukee bullpen ace, not only knows how to load ’em up, but also has a sharp belt buckle.”12 Despite these claims, virtually no evidence backed them up and nothing came of the issue in the coming years.

Slaton could’ve used a competitive edge when 1972 rolled around. He was sought by numerous teams during the offseason, but the Brewers as early as October 1971 had him slotted into the next season’s rotation.13 Wes Stock said in May 1972, “His curveball has improved almost 100 percent, and that alone should make him a better pitcher.”14 Slaton was one of the few pitchers used in Milwaukee’s three-man rotation for the start of the season.15

However, the wheels fell off early on. The heavy usage in the season’s first month took a toll on the young right-hander, as he stumbled to a 5.52 ERA without a single complete game (a travesty at that time). After his early-season struggles, manager Del Crandall decided to use him only as a spot starter for a bit16 before finally relegating him to the minors in June.17 It was only after this demotion that Slaton finally admitted that he had been dealing with a sore arm throughout the first half of the season.18

During his time back with the Brewers’ minor-league affiliate in Evansville, Slaton showed vast improvement from his time in the majors. He produced a 2.92 ERA in 16 starts and threw a no-hitter (which he almost predicted would happen before the game began.19) Frank Lane suggested that his success in the minors could earn him a trip back to the majors, but the Brewers did not bring him back before the end of the season.20

Despite this, Slaton’s strong finish with Evansville and an All-Star Game nod in the Puerto Rican Winter League21 had him slotted for a rotation spot with the Brewers in 1973.22 Those plans were put on hold before the season began, however, when Slaton suffered a chipped bone in his right wrist in a car accident in Puerto Rico.23 He missed a fair amount of exhibition action during spring training, but he returned in early April with four shutout innings against the Angels,24 leading pitching coach Bob Shaw to comment, “I don’t think we’ll have to worry about his wrist.”25 Shaw’s words held true, as Slaton enjoyed a healthy season of 38 starts in which he produced a 3.71 ERA and threw 13 complete games. (At least one writer suggested that he could’ve won even more games with more offensive support.26)

Slaton’s strong performance raised expectations greatly for 1974. General manager Jim Wilson went as far as to say, “Slaton could be our best pitcher in 1974.”27 Milwaukee sportswriter Lou Chapman considered the right-hander a threat to win 20 games.28 Slaton had trouble meeting this lofty bar, though; he struggled right out of the gate and was moved to the bullpen in mid-June to try to reclaim his 1973 form.29 He pitched well as a reliever, prompting the Brewers to place him back in the rotation by the season’s end.30 Slaton got hot at the end of the season allowing only  one earned run in a stretch of four starts,31 but for the Brewers it was too late; the team was already near the cellar of the division by the time he figured things out. This seemed to be the story of Slaton’s early career. Lou Chapman wrote, “[Slaton] sprouts quickly in the spring, languishes on the vine in midseason and then blooms like a 20-game winner in the season’s late stages.”32

To attempt to break this curse, Slaton went to the Dominican Winter League for more work. Perhaps it was the lesser competition, or perhaps it was the fact that his former pitching coach Al Widmar was coaching him in the Caribbean, but Slaton pitched well during his time in the Dominican.33 He won his first four decisions and drew praise from new Brewers general manager Jim Baumer, who watched him pitch in the Dominican Republic.34 “Slaton could be our best pitcher this year,” Baumer said. “With the addition of Henry Aaron and our run-scoring ability, there’s no reason why Jim finally couldn’t become a 20-game winner.”35 First baseman Mike Hegan, who was Slaton’s teammate in the Dominican, said Slaton had “the best stuff of any pitcher on our staff.”36

So it came as little surprise that the Brewers were considering Slaton for 1975’s Opening Day start. A month before spring training started, manager Del Crandall decided to tell everyone what he thought the lineup would look like, including his first starter of the season. “I would think Jim Slaton would be the choice [to start Opening Day] depending on how Ed Sprague and Jim Colborn have progressed after knee operations in the fall,” he commented.37

Slaton did get his first Opening Day start that season, but lost to Luis Tiant and the Boston Red Sox, lasting just 2⅔ innings. His struggles continued throughout the first half, leading to yet another relegation to the bullpen in mid-May.38 He returned to the rotation later in the month when Crandall decided to use a five-man rotation. “The starters have not been consistent in going the distance,” he stated, “so we feel an extra day of rest will help.”39 The Milwaukee skipper felt confident in bringing Slaton back from the bullpen because he “had good stuff but wasn’t winning” during the early portion of the season.40

Perhaps Crandall’s move was just what Slaton needed. He turned things around in his return to the rotation thanks in part to a set of motivational cassette tapes. Slaton explained the difference the tapes made in an interview with The Sporting News: “The new course doesn’t let me get down too much. It also helps with my confidence, although I never really gave up on myself. I’m throwing the same way now that I did earlier in the year. Only now the ball is being hit at somebody instead of going through.”41

This only helped for a bit, though. Slaton slumped at the end of the season, dropping his last eight decisions of the season. He acknowledged earlier in the summer suffering from arm fatigue,42 but it really took its toll at the end of the season. Lou Chapman didn’t find the revelation overly surprising, as by his count, Slaton had thrown over 600 innings between the prior season, winter ball, spring training and the current season.43 As a result, Slaton decided to take the winter off for the most part after posting a 4.52 ERA with an 11-18 record.

The Brewers still had faith that Slaton could become a 20-game winner,44 but when 1976 rolled around, it seemed as if the hurler had even more faith in himself than the team did. Shortly before spring training was scheduled to start, the right-hander was one of the Brewer veterans holding out for more money. Slaton hired an agent to help him during the contract negotiations.45 General manager Jim Baumer, a bit upset, invoked major-league baseball’s renewal clause and attempted to sign some of the veterans at a 20 percent pay cut.46 Slaton avoided this issue by signing with the team over the phone before many of the other players.47

With the contract negotiations out of the way, Slaton could get back to focusing on baseball. New manager Alex Grammas had some things he wanted to tweak on his right-hander:

“Jim Slaton has got to be considered as one of our starters, but he’s got to be straightened around. With an arm like his, there’s no reason why he can’t be a consistent winner. We’re going to have [pitching coach] Cal McLish work with him. Sometimes it’s only a little thing that needs to be changed to restore confidence and make a winner.”48

For the second consecutive year, Slaton was awarded the Opening Day start, and this one went much differently than the previous season’s. Slaton outperformed Jim “Catfish” Hunter with a shutout of the New York Yankees. He followed that performance up with a shutout victory over the Detroit Tigers. Strong starts similar to these over the first half helped Slaton win American League Player of the Week honors in mid-April and collect 10 wins before the All-Star break.

What changed for the 26-year-old? According to Baumer, he was simply putting his pitches in the strike zone. “He’s throwing a lot more strikes,” Baumer said. “He’s changing speeds more and is ahead of hitters.”49 Third baseman Don Money thought the mental aspect was what made things click for Slaton. “It looks like he’s pitching instead of throwing,” Money said. “He’s using his noggin.”50

McLish’s take may be the most convincing. The coach focused on rhythm and tempo with the Brewers hurlers all spring, and it seemed to be paying off with Slaton. “No matter what sport you play, even if it’s shuffleboard, you’ve got to have tempo,” McLish said. “The feel from the last pitch stays with you. … You keep your rhythm more if you set a tempo.”51 He also had Slaton change the grip on his fastball to gain more movement, which Slaton said contributed to “the best start of [his] career.”52

This stellar start didn’t translate to the second half of the season. Slaton struggled to get run support down the stretch, leading to a number of hard-luck losses. The last straw perhaps was a 2-1 loss to the Athletics on August 10. He threw a complete game and allowed only one earned run. The decisive second run came on a throwing error by Brewers second baseman Gary Sutherland. A reporter after the game told Slaton, “Tough way to lose a well-pitched game.” Slaton responded, “Heck, it’s been happening for five years now. This game is so frustrating. I’m pitching better than I ever have in my career, and I’m going to have to struggle to win 15 games.”53 Slaton finished the season with a 3.44 ERA to go with a 14-15 record.

The 1977 season seemed like a duplicate of 1976 for Slaton. After inking a two-year contract with the Brewers during the offseason,54 he started off the season well. He pitched a shutout in his season debut after missing a bit of time with the flu.55 But he didn’t get much run support the rest of the way, as he stumbled into the trade deadline with a 4-6 record despite a 2.86 ERA. The coaches of the All-Star team disregarded the deceptive losing record and named Slaton to the American League squad when Don Money was injured and couldn’t play in the midsummer classic. This wound up being Slaton’s only All-Star Game, though he didn’t pitch in the game.

The Brewers’ struggles continued into the second half, and Slaton was less than pleased, saying, “It’s pretty depressing losing all year. You go out there and want to win, but it seems like someone’s waiting for something to go wrong. … I like it here, the fans are great. But we just lose every year. If I’m a losing pitcher, I’d like to find out before my career is over.”56

That last comment made many believe that Slaton was a sure bet to be traded during the offseason. Sure enough, the Brewers found a trade partner in the Detroit Tigers. On December 9, 1977, the right-hander was sent with pitcher Rich Folkers to Detroit in exchange for outfielder Ben Oglivie. Slaton was going from a sixth-place team to a fourth-place team in the same division. With only one year left until free agency, he made it clear that he would only be a Tiger for one season. He insisted it wasn’t anything against the city or the people, but he had aspirations of getting paid more and possibly playing close to home in California. “I told [Tigers general manager Jim Campbell] it didn’t matter what he offered, I didn’t plan to sign,” Slaton said. “It just doesn’t make sense for me to sign.”57

Slaton maintained some connections with the Brewers during his time across Lake Michigan. When the Brewers came to town in early June, Milwaukee catcher Charlie Moore stayed with Slaton and his family during the series.58 He then homered off Slaton in a 7-2 Brewers victory.

All in all, 1978 was a good year for Slaton. He didn’t produce another year’s worth of All-Star-caliber numbers, but he won a career-high 17 games and fired 11 complete games while posting a 4.12 ERA. Nothing spectacular, but it positioned him as one of the top pitchers in the “mostly unattractive” 1979 free-agent class.59

At the time, free agency worked a bit differently. Instead of all players being able to talk with any team, baseball held a Free Agent Re-Entry Draft. Teams would pick the players they wished to bid on, and the players would be limited to signing with those teams. Slaton was selected by 14 teams in the re-entry draft, including the Angels, Giants and A’s from California. The Brewers and Tigers both bid on him as well despite knowing he wanted to head west.60

What seemed to be a token draft pick by Milwaukee wound up being significantly more. Slaton seemed insistent on moving west and then told the Tigers he would let them match any offers he received.61 In the end he agreed to a six-year, $1.46 million contract with the Brewers.62

Slaton proved to be well worth the money, as he produced a 3.63 ERA and a 15-9 record in 1979. The biggest difference during Slaton’s return trip to Milwaukee was his control. Manager George Bamberger preached control to his pitchers, and when Slaton arrived, the skipper simply commanded him, “Relax, throw the ball over home plate.”63 The right-hander did just that, cutting his walks by 31 from the year before.

Being on a winning team was also doing wonders for Slaton. “If you do give up a few runs early in the game, this is the type of team that can come back,” he said. “The type of team that the Brewers have had a lot to do with my decision to sign. They score a lot of runs.”64

In 1980 Slaton felt benevolent enough with his new money to set up a scholarship fund at his alma mater Antelope Valley College.65 Things fell apart shortly thereafter.

Slaton was tasked with pitching on the road against the Toronto Blue Jays in mid-April. The temperature at first pitch was 26 degrees Fahrenheit, and Slaton was hit for four runs in three innings. He came out of the outing with what was dubbed at the time as shoulder soreness.66 He was placed on the disabled list after discovering he had injured his rotator cuff and wound up missing the remainder of the season.67

There was some hope that Slaton could return before the end of the season, but the Brewers opted to play things safely by having him throw in the Arizona Instructional League. “There was no pain,” he said.68 He was hitting 91 mph on the radar gun, about where he normally pitched. He continued throwing all winter in order to keep his shoulder loose and even managed to add velocity to his fastball by spring training.69 “So far, everything has really come along,” Slaton commented. “I just hope I haven’t peaked too early because right now my arm feels as strong as it ever has.”70

Contrary to his hopes, Slaton’s numbers suggest he did peak too early. The 31-year-old’s ERA for the season rose to 4.37 and he failed to throw a complete game. By the end of the season he was pitching out of the bullpen, where he found a good amount of success. He pitched in four of the team’s five American League Division Series games against the Yankees, hurling a total of six innings and allowing only a pair of runs in the series finale. After this strong showing, it came as no surprise that the team was going to move him into a full-time relief role for the 1982 campaign.71 Slaton was a bit sour about the planned move to the relief corps, but he warmed up to it before the 1982 season began. “I wouldn’t object to that at all,” he said. “If they think that’s where I’m best suited, that’s fine.”72

That was indeed what the team thought was best, and it was actually a very shrewd move by the organization. Slaton wound up collecting six saves during the season due to a pair of injuries to incumbent closer Rollie Fingers.73He made a handful of spot starts when Pete Vuckovich was hurt,74 though instances like this that required Slaton to warm up unexpectedly revealed a bit about how he took to bullpen life. On one occasion, he was forced into action while munching on a Snickers bar. Another time, he almost choked on a handful of sunflower seeds when he was told he was entering the game in the second inning.75

Even with his next assignment varying as much as it did, the right-hander still seemed to like the move to being a reliever. “It’s turned out I’ve made a very important contribution,” Slaton said of his role in the Milwaukee bullpen. “I really enjoyed pitching in short relief when Rollie was hurt.”76 His pleasure showed up in his end-of-season stat line, as the 3.29 ERA he went on to produce wound up being the best of his career.

This strong showing made him an integral part of the Brewers’ pennant chase. In the American League Championship Series, against the California Angels, Slaton threw 4⅔ innings in two games, allowing just one earned run on three hits and a walk. He continued his stellar play in the World Series, notching 2⅔ innings and collecting a win in relief against the St. Louis Cardinals without allowing a run. Overall, Slaton posted a 1.23 ERA during the 1982 postseason.

In 1983 Slaton mustered just a 4.33 ERA exclusively out of the bullpen, though he managed to win 14 games in relief. The Brewers shopped the right-hander again during the offseason, though it wasn’t an easy process. As a 10-5 rights player, Slaton could veto a trade. With this leverage, the righty said he would accept a trade only if he was granted a three-year extension.77 After much deliberation, on December 20, 1983, Milwaukee struck a deal with a team Slaton had wanted to be with for a long time: the California Angels. The 33-year-old was sent to Southern California in exchange for outfielder Bobby Clark.78

Because of a rash of injuries in their rotation, the Angels intended to use Slaton temporarily as a starter.79 The injuries failed to subside, keeping Slaton in the fray longer than his performance warranted. He wound up spending much of his time with the Angels as a starter and stumbled to a 4.87 ERA.

This wasn’t to say Slaton’s veteran presence wasn’t felt among his teammates, especially when it came to humor. Slaton appeared to be a bit of a prankster, as is evidenced by his antics during spring training in 1986. According to Stan Isle of The Sporting News, Slaton was suspected of pranking fellow hurler Kirk McCaskill by cutting his toothpaste tube in half, shortening the bristles on his toothbrush and snipping his shoelaces.80

Slaton apparently got his funnybone from his father. During his tumultuous 1986 campaign, Slaton’s brother Frank decided to not eat food that required chewing until Slaton won his fifth game of the season after being stuck on four victories for so long. Frank wound up losing 16 pounds. His father knew better than to take part in the hunger strike. “I love my son, but I’m not crazy,” the elder Slaton said.81

Although he seemed to be loose, Slaton’s performance continued to decline. He was banished from the rotation for the final time in late June and was released soon thereafter. The Detroit Tigers took a flier on him and scooped him up in mid-July,82 but his middling performance in their bullpen led to his release after the season. He played one season in the Senior Professional Baseball Association with the Fort Myers Sun Sox.

Thus ended Slaton’s playing career. He finished his time in pro baseball with 1,191 strikeouts, 151 wins, 14 saves, and over 2,600 innings to his credit. He moved on to be a pitching coach or a bullpen coach in the Oakland Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners, and Los Angeles Dodgers organizations. He may not have matched the achievements of dual-role pitchers like John Smoltz or Dennis Eckersley, but Slaton wound up having a big impact on multiple teams throughout his career as both a starter and as a reliever. Who knows? With a little more luck, his stellar bullpen work in 1982 might have brought the Brewers their first championship.

 

Sources

In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted Baseball-Reference.com and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

 

Notes

1 Jack Craig, “sporTView,” The Sporting News, August 7, 1971: 21.

2 Larry Whiteside, “Ken Sanders: Brewer Bullpen Jewel,” The Sporting News, February 26, 1972: 44.

3 Miguel Frau, “Wegener Pitches No-Hitter in Puerto Rico,” The Sporting News, December 12, 1970: 63.

4 Ibid.

5 Larry Whiteside, “Slaton Gives Brewer Mound All-Right Label,” The Sporting News, May 1, 1971: 20.

6 Ibid.

7 Ibid.

8 Ibid.

9 Ibid.

10 Ibid.

11 Joe McGuff, “Fast-Rising Royals Eye Top Awards,” The Sporting News, October 2, 1971: 24.

12 Jerome Holtzman, “When Luke Bunted, It Was a Surprise,” The Sporting News, October 2, 1971: 16.

13 Larry Whiteside, “Lane Polishing Up Brewers’ Trading Wares,” The Sporting News, October 16, 1971: 19;  Larry Whiteside, “All That’s Left of Original Brewers Is Burp,” The Sporting News, November 6, 1971: 47; Larry Whiteside, “Brewers’ Deal Closes Gap Between Lane and Bristol,” The Sporting News, October 30, 1971: 23.

14 Larry Whiteside, “Brewers’ Slaton Shy on Experience, Long on Hill Ability,” The Sporting News, May 6, 1972: 28.

15 Larry Whiteside, “Brewers Cheering Revival by Lonborg,” The Sporting News, June 10, 1972: 21.

16 Larry Whiteside, “Crandall’s Commandment: Have Fun,” The Sporting News, June 24, 1972: 13.

17 Larry Whiteside, “Steady Stephenson a Beaut in Brewer Bullpen,” The Sporting News, July 1, 1972: 17.

18 Larry Whiteside, “Lane Still Sees Brewer Beams as Sun Sinks Slowly in West,” The Sporting News, September 2, 1972: 19.

19 Dave Mullen, “Slaton’s ‘Shutout’ Becomes a No-Hitter,” The Sporting News, August 19, 1972: 36.

20 Whiteside, “Lane Still Sees Brewer Beams as Sun Sinks Slowly in West.”

21 Miguel Frau, “Imports Win in Puerto Rico,” The Sporting News, January 20, 1973: 47.

22 Larry Whiteside, “Slaton Expected to Be Among Brewer Starters,” The Sporting News, December 9, 1972: 47.

23 Larry Whiteside, “Vet Short: Is He Miracle Material for Milwaukee?” The Sporting News, February 10, 1973: 44.

24 Larry Whiteside, “Brewers’ Briggs a Confident Clouter,” The Sporting News, April 7, 1973: 32.

25 Ibid.

26 Lou Chapman, “Brewers See Slaton With 20 Wins in ’74,” The Sporting News, December 29, 1973: 38.

27 Ibid.

28 Ibid.

29 Lou Chapman, “June Means It’s Swoon Time for the Hit-Starved Brewers,” The Sporting News, July 6, 1974: 22.

30 Lou Chapman, “Briggs, Money Sparkle Despite Brewer Tailspin,” The Sporting News, July 20, 1974: 17.

31 Lou Chapman, “Thomas and Lezcano Brighten Brewers’ Future,” The Sporting News, September 28, 1974: 9.

32 Lou Chapman, “Slaton’s Brewer Slogan — Come Alive in ’75,” The Sporting News, January 18, 1975: 53.

33 Ibid.

34 Ibid.

35 Ibid.

36 Ibid.

37 Lou Chapman, “Brewers Name Coluccio to Lead Off,” The Sporting News, February 22, 1975: 43.

38 Lou Chapman, “A Three-Man Bullpen Bolsters Fast-Moving Brewers,” The Sporting News, June 7, 1975: 12.

39 “A.L. Flashes,” The Sporting News, June 14, 1975: 22.

40 Lou Chapman, “Thomas Removing Doubts as Brewer Bomber,” The Sporting News, July 5, 1975: 13.

41 Lou Chapman, “Motivation Course Rescues Brewer Slaton,” The Sporting News, July 12, 1975: 14.

42 Ibid.

43 Lou Chapman, “Moore Doing His Catching as Brewers’ New Outfielder,” The Sporting News, September 27, 1975: 19.

44 Lou Chapman, “Too Much Brewer Youth? Wait Until Next Year,” The Sporting News, October 25, 1975: 21.

45 Lou Chapman, “Brewer Regulars Take Their Time About Signing,” The Sporting News, March 13, 1976: 42.

46 Lou Chapman, “Colborn Fuming Over Brewers’ Offer,” The Sporting News, March 27, 1976: 43.

47 Ibid.

48 Lou Chapman, “Grammas Calm Despite Training Delay,” The Sporting News, March 20, 1976: 39.

49 Lou Chapman, “Tradeable Slaton Now a Brewer Untouchable,” The Sporting News, May 1, 1976: 25.

50 Ibid.

51 Ibid.

52 Ibid.

53 “Slaton Airs Frustrations,” The Sporting News, September 4, 1976: 26.

54 Lou Chapman, “Porter, Colborn Could See Brewer Deal in the Works,” The Sporting News, December 18, 1976: 48.

55 “A.L. Flashes,” The Sporting News, April 30, 1977: 23.

56 Lou Chapman, “Brewers Players Gripe. … They’re ‘Sick of Losing,’” The Sporting News, September 24, 1977: 16.

57 Jim Hawkins, “‘I’m Yours for One Year,’ Slaton Tells Tigers,” The Sporting News, February 11, 1978: 38.

58 Mike Gonring, “Slight Pause Mighty Refreshing to Castro,” The Sporting News, July 8, 1978: 14.

59 Murray Chass, “Rose, Age Top Features On 58-Man Re-Entry List,” The Sporting News, September 30, 1978: 6.

60 Jack Lang, “How They Were — or Weren’t — Picked,” The Sporting News, November 18, 1978: 37.

61 Jim Hawkins, “Slaton Promises Tigers a Chance,” The Sporting News, November 25, 1978: 49.

62 Murray Chass, “10 Free Agent Signings Hit $15 Million Jackpot,” The Sporting News, March 3, 1979: 13.

63 Mike Gonring, “Slaton Quiets Doubters with Brewer Victories,” The Sporting News, May 19, 1979: 18.

64 Ibid.

65 Stan Isle, “Fans’ Dollar Checks Help Amarillo Pay Rent,” The Sporting News, May 3, 1980: 17.

66 Peter Gammons, “A’s, Jays in First; Players in Fog,” The Sporting News, May 31, 1980: 23.

67 Tom Flaherty, “Brewers’ Slaton: ‘I Know I’m Going to Pitch Again,’” The Sporting News, August 30, 1980: 21.

68 TomFlaherty, “Slaton Passes Key Arm Test,” The Sporting News, November 8, 1980: 51.

69 Tom Flaherty, “Slaton Soars Off the Mark on His Comeback Journey,” The Sporting News, March 21, 1981: 42.

70 Ibid.

71 Tom Flaherty, “Slaton Is Slated for Long Relief,” The Sporting News, December 19, 1981: 48, 51.

72 Ibid.

73 Tom Flaherty, “Fingers’ Injury Gives Brewers a Scare,” The Sporting News, April 3, 1982: 36; Tom Flaherty, “Yost an Unlikely Brewers Hero,” The Sporting News, October 11, 1982: 33.

74 Peter Gammons, “Agents Fear Free-Agent Brushoff,” The Sporting News, August 2, 1982: 19.

75 Tom Flaherty, “Slaton Makes Hay as a Middle Man,” The Sporting News, August 2, 1982: 20.

76 Ibid.

77 Tom Flaherty, “Clark Provides Depth in Outfield,” The Sporting News, January 2, 1984: 38.

78 Ibid.

79 Tom Singer, “Reggie, John Ease McNamara’s Worries,” The Sporting News, April 2, 1984: 19.

80 Stan Isle, “Clubhouse Prankster,” The Sporting News, March 24, 1986: 41.

81 Bob McCoy, “Father Knows Best,” The Sporting News, July 14, 1986: 10.

82 “Detroit,” The Sporting News, August 4, 1986: 22.

Full Name

James Michael Slaton

Born

June 19, 1950 at Long Beach, CA (USA)

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