Well, if we are going to do Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Stanton, we might as well go all the way and bring up THIS Mike Stanton as well.
Maybe this is why Giancarlo stopped going by Mike Stanton… because there have been too many of them.
Truth be told, I had forgotten about THIS Mike Stanton until I was writing yesterday’s post.
I will also be honest with you my dear readers. I don’t know a lot about THIS Mike Stanton and using his Baseball-Reference page as a guide as I sometimes do isn’t really helping matters here.
He was born in St. Louis. Does that mean he was FROM St. Louis. I was born in Willimantic, Connecticut and we moved when I was an infant. Someone doing lazy research on me would say “He grew up in Willimantic.” They would be wrong.
What makes it harder to figure out is he went to two different high schools. Now so did I because we moved from Massachusetts to California when I was in high school.
But this is suspicious because both high schools have the same name: Santa Fe. Both are listed in very different cities, oddly enough neither would be Santa Fe. So did he go to high school in Lakeland Florida or Santa Fe Springs California?
I will guess Florida as his college was Miami-Dade. But lots of people go to college in states they were not living in. It is very confusing.
The Rangers drafted him in 1972 but he didn’t sign. Then there was the confusing (but no fault of Mike Stanton) January draft they used to have. The Astros signed him in 1973.
Initially, he went right through the Astros farm system, putting up good numbers in Rookie Ball, A, AA and AAA, earning a call up at age 22 wit the Astros, even picking up a big league save in 1975.
But he pitched poorly in AAA for 1976 and did not get recalled. In 1977 pitching for Charleston he had a rebound season but still did not make it back to the majors.
Unable to make the big league squad in 1978, the Astros sold his contract to the Blue Jays, who were starting their second ever season. The change of scenery did not help as he had another poor season in AAA without a recall.
If Canada didn’t work, why not Venezuela? He played a year for Maracaibo before his contract ran out and he signed with the Cleveland organization, trying to find his way back to the majors.
After a few games in Tacoma, he finally made it back to the majors. 5 years after his cameo with the Astros, he was in the majors pitching a shutout inning for the Indians against the Angels on April 11, 1980.
On April 26th, he pitched the final 1 2/3 innings to secure a save. On May 17, against my beloved Boston Red Sox, he relieved Sid Monge in a tie game with 2 on and 2 out in the 7th. He got future Hall of Famer Tony Perez to fly out.
In the 8th, he retired Butch Hobson (my favorite player), catcher Dave Rader and perennial All Star Dwight Evans.
In the 9th, he faced trouble as Jerry Remy and Jim Dwyer singled and future Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski walked. He got Rick Burleson to pop up, future Hall of Famer Jim Rice to strike out and with the bases loaded and the game tied once again retired Perez.
The Indians couldn’t score in the 9th so Stanton went out there again, striking out Hobson getting Rader out and after walking Evans got out of the inning when “Dewey” was thrown out trying to steal.
This time Miguel Dilone, a previous subject in these baseball card posts, singled home Dell Alston with the walk off run. Mike Stanton was credited with his first major league win.
I don’t remember that game. I would have been pissed had I watched it.
Stanton pitched for Cleveland in 1980 and 1981. He went to Seattle in time to wear this beautiful 1980’s uniform for 3 1/2 seasons before pitching 11 games with the 1985 White Sox.
He would win 13 games over 6 1/2 seasons, saving 31 total with 7 saves here and 7 there while playing for non contenders in small markets.
He retired, according to Wikipedia, where he raised a son and 2 daughters. Did he raise them in Missouri? California? Florida? Cleveland? Venezuela? Your guess is as good as mine.
He was a Mike Stanton. Was he the best Mike Stanton in the majors? No. Was he the best pitcher named Mike Stanton in the majors? No.
But he was a big league pitcher, which not every Mike Stanton can say (even though it sometimes feels that every Mike Stanton can say that.)