Tuesday, May 11, 2010
#23 - John Buzhardt
Our look at #23 is now into 1958 and the next player is the first pitcher we've had. Since we're working backwards, that makes John Buzhardt the last pitcher to wear the number.
Buzhardt came to the 1958 Cubs as a 21-year-old September call up. He pitched in six games and was pretty successful. After four relief appearances, he got to start two games and won them both. He pitched a complete game against the Dodgers on September 20, holding them to only two runs. Six days later, he again started against the Dodgers and did just as well, limiting them to one run in 8 1/3 innings. His record for the year was 3-0 with a 1.85 ERA. That was good enough to get him a rookie card in the 1959 set.
Maybe the Curse of #23 only applies to position players. If that's the case, then Buzhardt made a big mistake the next season. He switched to #38. His record dropped to 4-5 while his ERA soared to 4.97. After the 1959 season he was traded to the Phillies.