On this date in 1977, the the Athletics traded Mike Torrez to the Yankees for Dock Ellis, Larry Murray, and Marty Perez. If you don't remember Ellis' stint with the A's, you're probably not alone. The enigmatic right-hander wound up spending just two months in Oakland.
Nearly seven years after throwing his storied no-hitter, Ellis was the centerpiece of the three-player package headed cross-country. The 32-year-old hurler wasn't able to find his groove with the Athletics, however, posting a 9.69 ERA in seven starts totalling 26 innings. The A's, figuring that Ellis had jumped the shark, promptly sold him to the Rangers.
Ellis, however, got back on track in Texas in a big way. In 22 starts and one relief appearance, Ellis turned in a 2.90 ERA with 4.8 K/9 and 2.3 BB/9. The right-hander stayed on with the Rangers until the summer of 1979, when he was dealt to the Mets. Ellis brought everything full circle later in the year when his contract was purchased by Pittsburgh, allowing him to retire as a Pirate.
Meanwhile, Torrez became part of Yankees lore despite only spending the 1977 season in pinstripes. The right-hander earned two complete-game victories in the club's six-game World Series over the Dodgers and even caught the final out to seal the deal. Torrez went on to pitch for another five seasons and change, four of which were spent with the rival Red Sox.
Ellis was a really good pitcher for the Pirates, but after that no hitter for the Pirates? he took to bragging about how good he was and insisted his nickname was Dock “no hit” Ellis which many other ball players didn’t really care for obviously.
A cocky player for those times he was.
I am completely infatuated with the Pirates teams of the 1970’s! Ellis, Stargell, Hebner, Zisk, Cash, Blass, Giusti, Oliver, Parker, Sanguillen, CLEMENTE!! The uniforms, the hats! That’s baseball!
I liked those guys also.. You left out Jim Rooker tho..
The 60’s Pirates also liked and “Bullet Bobby” Veale was one of my favorites.. If he could have thrown strikes and not thrown 150 pitches per game? Maybe thrown for years. It was said he regularly hit 100mph, just he had little control.
Boston had him as a shell of himself from 72-4 after he had hurt his arm and only able to go in short bursts as a reliever, but he was still throwing fairly hard.
Fun Mike Torrez facts:
1) Bucky Dent laughs at Mike Torrez
2) Mike Torrez and other two Mikes were the only people to beat Ron Guidry in 1978.
3) He was a team mate with Ken Singleton, who works for the YES network right now
4) he was once traded with other players for Reggie Jackson and Ken Holtzman
I like trains.