Friday, December 16, 2016
Vintage Fridays: Eddie Watt, 1972 Topps #128
-The youngest of four kids, he became the first member of his family to attend college when he enrolled at Iowa State Teachers College. His alma mater later became known as Northern Iowa University.
-In 1961, he was scouted by the Cardinals, White Sox, and Orioles, but the first two clubs each offered him a $350 signing bonus. The O's sweetened the pot and got him for $400.
-While splitting the 1964 season between Class A Aberdeen (S.D.) and AA Elmira, Eddie went a combined 17-2 with a 2.04 ERA.
-He made his big league debut on Opening Day of the 1966 season - April 12 - and earned the save in Baltimore's 5-4, 13-inning win at Fenway Park. The stocky righthander struck out George Scott and got a pair of groundouts from Tony Horton and Rico Petrocelli in a flawless inning of work.
-Though Watt didn't appear in the O's four-game sweep of the Dodgers in the 1966 World Series, he still earned an $11,683.04 share. In five years, he'd come a long way from a $400 bonus!
-His career-best performance in 1969 helped the Birds claim the first of three straight American League pennants: 5-2 with a team-high 16 saves and a 1.65 ERA in 71 innings.
-After Eddie's playing career ended, he managed in the Padres' farm system for four years, racking up a .524 winning percentage from 1978-1981. Later he coached in the minors for the Astros, Phillies, and Braves before retiring in 2003.