Monday, July 26, 2010
#190) RICK BALDWIN
Rick Baldwin was selected by the New York Mets in the ninth round of the 1971 free agent draft. He would reach New York and make his major-league debut at Shea Stadium on April 10, 1975. Rick threw an inning of scoreless relief against the Philadelphia Phillies that day. The rookie would lead the Mets pitching staff with 54 appearances that year. All while recording a 3.33 ERA. So Rick was understandably disappointed after learning that he was being sent to Triple-A Tidewater at the conclusion of spring training in 1976. "I was really down, but she (his wife, Sherry) told me I couldn't spend the whole year sulking." remembered Baldwin, "So then I prayed a lot, and suddenly realized that I couldn't quit. I had to show them I could pitch."
Rick earned a late season call up to New York. He finished the year even stronger than his first stint in the major-leagues. Lowering his ERA to 2.38 during 11 games in 1976, but the end result was the same. Baldwin was again the last pitcher reassigned out of spring training camp. "It didn't bother me as much as the first time from a mental standpoint," said Rick, "but it did create problems. Sherry was eight months pregnant with our second child, and on her way to New York. So I had to go up there and get her before reporting to Tidewater."
The family's stay in the minors was short. Baldwin was back with the Mets on May 24, 1977. He would close the year with the big club, but see his effectiveness falter. Having his ERA swell to 4.45 during 40 appearances. Rick earned his only save of the year in the final game of the season facing the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Seattle Mariners selected Baldwin from the New York Mets during the expansion draft on December 5, 1977. Rick would not return to the major-leagues before retiring in 1978.
Following his baseball career, Rick has served with his wife, Sherry as the Elementary Chapel instructors at Modesto Christian School. He has remained involved in baseball ministry by serving as the Camp Director and Head Coach for the Total Baseball Academy at River Ranch Church where he is an Associate Pastor.
Rick Baldwin signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on January 10, 2009.