Sunday, October 12, 2014
661st Place - Allan Anderson
I did a double-take when I was looking at Anderson's Baseball Reference page, but sure enough, my eyes didn't deceive me. In 1988, the year this card was printed, he led the league in ERA (2.45), ERA+ (166), and walks per nine innings pitched (1.6).
Anderson has to be one of the most obscure ERA leaders in MLB history. The season came out of left field, too. In 1986 he pitched 21 games for Minnesota and recorded a 5.55 ERA. His cup of coffee in 1987, just four games, produced a ghoulish 10.95 mark. His season at AAA that year was terrible too.
Per this article, it appears his 1988 success came from an improved change-up. The story further notes, though, that Anderson's minuscule strikeout rates were an indicator he couldn't sustain his performance. Anderson never did replicate his 1988 season, though he did lead the league in walks per nine innings again in 1990. 1991 was his final season, but he didn't appear in the post season for the Twins.
These days you can find Allan in his hometown of Lancaster, Ohio, where he would be happy to give you pitching instruction at the Field of Dreams Practice Facility.