Watson: Remembering Al Fitzmorris’s 1975 season

From Darin Watson at U.L.’s Toothpick on March 21, 2019:

The poets (and I guess I consider myself one) will tell you that the beauty of baseball is that it is timeless and unchanging and all that jazz. And in a way, it’s true. I would wager that, were you transported back to 1919 and sent to a baseball, football, and basketball game, you would find the baseball game to be the most recognizable.

But in many other ways, baseball evolves just like all of our other sports. One big difference, over the baseball of even 20 years ago, is the rise in strikeouts. So when you look at the stats of someone from a different era, the numbers can be eye-popping in different ways. For example, consider a starting pitcher who works 242 innings. In 2019, you would expect that pitcher to crack 200 strikeouts for the season. Maybe in the 150-175 range if he’s the proverbial “crafty lefty.”

But 44 years ago, Al Fitzmorris pitched 242 innings for the Royals. He did not collect 200 strikeouts. Or 175. Or 150, or 125, or even 100. Seventy-eight. That’s it. And still, he had a successful season, one of several he enjoyed in Kansas City. It was a different game.

Read the full article here: https://ulstoothpick.com/2019/03/21/the-year-of-the-card-al-fitzmorris-1975/

Originally published: March 21, 2019. Last Updated: March 21, 2019.