Monday, September 17, 2012

A Man Called "Fly Rod"

This guy's cap is an obvious airbrush job:

Card #74 -- Billy Champion, Milwaukee Brewers

Until 1972, Billy Champion had spen his entire career with the Philadelphia Phillies, with whom he debuted in 1969. The Phillies weren't a great team at the time, and Champion's overall record with the team was 12-31 during the four seasons he spent with the team. When he was traded to the Brewers, it may have seemed like a lateral move, but he was able to have a couple of quality seasons there. In four years there, he actually had a winning record with the team.

Champion was largely employed as a "swing man," alternating from the starting rotation to a mop-up role in relief. Not a really efficient strikeout artist, he managed one really good season in 1974, going 11-4 on a staff that was fairly mediocre.

Champion became a scout for the Cubs after his retirement, and a pitching coach after that.

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