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Tim Belcher

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Tim Belcher
Pitcher
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB Debut
September 6, 1987 for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Final game
September 30, 2000 for the Anaheim Angels
Career Statistics
Record     146-140
ERA     4.16
Strikeouts     1519
Teams
Career Highlights and Awards
  • Led N.L. in 1989 in complete games (10) and shutouts (8)

Timothy Wayne Belcher (Born October 19, 1961) in Mount Gilead, Ohio, is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. He won the Sporting News Rookie Pitcher of the Year Award in 1988 for the National League.

Belcher played for seven different ballclubs during his major league career: the Los Angeles Dodgers (1987-1991), Cincinnati Reds (1992-1993), Chicago White Sox (1993), Detroit Tigers (1994), Seattle Mariners (1995), Kansas City Royals (1996-1998), and Anaheim Angels (1999-2000).

Belcher played intercollegiate varsity baseball at Mount Vernon Nazarene College in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He was an extremely talented pitcher, throwing a no-hitter, 2 one-hitters, and 3 two-hitters during his senior season. Belcher impressed the scouts with his mid-90’s fastball, size, and excellent poise on the mound. He was the first draft pick in the 1983 Major League Baseball Entry Draft, selected by the Minnesota Twins. However, he refused to sign with the Twins, and instead was selected in the 1984 supplemental draft by the New York Yankees. He was picked up by the Oakland Athletics in the compensation pool.

After climbing through the A's system to Triple A ball, he was traded to Los Angeles on September 3, 1987, as the "player to be named later" in the Rick Honeycutt transaction. He made his Major League Baseball debut on September 6 as a Dodger. Belcher was a member of the 1988 Dodgers team that won the World Series, defeating the Oakland Athletics. Belcher won one game in the World Series after winning twice in the National League Championship Series. The next year he led the National League with 10 complete games and eight shutouts, while placing in the top ten in wins and ERA and finishing sixth in Cy Young voting. Subsequent to 1989, no major league pitcher has had a total greater than 5 shutouts. However, his stay in Los Angeles proved brief, as he was traded to the Reds in 1991 as a part of the Eric Davis multi-player transaction. He tied a career high with 15 wins for the Reds, but began to slowly become less effective with age. In 1992, Belcher led the league in earned runs allowed and 3rd in the league in losses. Soon he was dealt again, this time to the White Sox in the middle of the 1993 season at the trading deadline. He won Game Four of the American League Championship Series in relief against the Toronto Blue Jays. Filing for free agency, he signed with the Tigers for 1994, but led the American League in losses with 15 that strike-shortened year.

He returned in 1995 to the Reds on a one-year minor-league contract, but was soon dealt by them a second time, this time in May to the Mariners. New York Yankees superstar shortstop Derek Jeter got his first major league hit off Belcher in the Kingdome on May 30, 1995. At the end of the regular season, Belcher lost two post-season games, the only two playoff losses he suffered in his career. Again becoming a free agent, he signed with the Royals for the 1996 season, spending the next three years with Kansas City and leading the team in wins each season but also was near the league lead in homeruns allowed, earned runs allowed and losses.

On June 5, 1999, Belcher was involved in a memorable on-field brawl at Dodger Stadium. At the time a member of the Anaheim Angels, Belcher was pitching when then-Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Chan Ho Park attacked him after being tagged out after a bunt play. Park's excuse was that Belcher had tagged him too hard on the play that had just concluded.

Belcher played his final game on September 30, 2000. He retired in spring training in 2001, his effectiveness gone following a series of injuries. Belcher’s statement, “I have not lost my desire to compete, only the ability to keep up.”

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