Tuesday, August 2, 2016

599th Place - Brad Arnsberg

Card #159

That shadow across Arnsberg's face gives off a real "Phantom of the Opera" vibe.  Look at your face in the mirror, Brad is there, inside...

Enough musical theater gags, let's get to Arnsberg.  He was a tall throwing righty out of the Pacific Northwest with a cup of coffee in New York in both 1986 and 1987.  But when you check out his Baseball Reference page for 1988, the year this card hit store shelves, there's only a void.  A little internet sleuthing led me to this old newspaper article. Arnsberg had a Tommy John-esque surgical procedure that had him out of baseball for over a year.  He would reemerge with the Rangers, having come over as the infamous "player to be named later" in the deal that landed Don Slaught in the Big Apple.

Brad appeared in a handful of games with Texas in 1989, but it would be the 1990 season where he saw his greatest success.  As a full time reliever he logged 53 games and a nifty 2.15 ERA.  His biggest professional highlight might be the fact he saved Nolan Ryan's 300th career victory...despite the final score being 11-3!  He was already in the game when the Rangers scored six runs in the top of the ninth to give Nolan his milestone.

I suspect those of you familiar with Brad's name know him more from his long career as a major league pitching coach, and if I'm not mistaken, he currently serves as the rehabilitation coordinator for the Arizona Diamondbacks.  His son Kyle has spent time as the Yankees bullpen catcher, though I don't think he's still in that role...

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