Wednesday, February 9, 2011
#159) BRENT STROM
Brent Strom was selected by the New York Mets as the third overall pick in the 1970 free agent draft. The left-hander had led the University of Southern California to two NCAA Championships (1968, 1970) before beginning his professional career. "I had no concept of who was interested. As a senior sign there was not much leverage," remembers Brent. "Only knew that they were a very strong pitching organization."
Strom made his major-league debut on July 31, 1972 at Shea Stadium. His first memory of the promotion to New York was, "Navigating up the freeway from Tidewater with my ex-wife and basset hound—not having a clue where I was." Strom thew 6-2/3 innings of the 4-2 Mets victory over the Montreal Expos, but did not get the decision. The rookie was not as effective in his next four starts. The Mets moved him to the bullpen in early September. Brent finished the season with 11 appearances, a 0-3 record and 6.82 ERA.
He was traded by the Mets to the Cleveland Indians along with Bob Rauch in exchange for Phil Hennigan on November 27, 1972.
Brent suffered an elbow injury that ended his five-year major league pitching career. He was the second person to receive UCL replacement surgery after Tommy John. Since then he has served as a major-league pitching instructor for several teams and joined the St. Louis Cardinals staff in 2007. Brent also owns and operates a well respected program at BSI Strom Baseball Institute in Tucson, Arizona.
Brent Strom signed his card in the set for me from an autograph request sent to Strom Baseball Institute on December 9, 2008.