Saturday, February 4, 2012
#317) CALVIN SCHIRALDI
Calvin Schiraldi was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round (27th overall) of the free agent draft on June 6, 1983. The right-hander was named Most Valuable Player of the 1983 College World Series as a member of the University of Texas Longhorns. "Seven of our scouts saw Calvin during the year, and each one gave him a glowing report." Joe McIlvaine, director of scouting for the Mets said. "He has the makeup to become an excellent power pitcher and we feel his future is just unlimited."
Schiraldi performed well in the Mets minor league system, and earned a late-season promotion in 1984. As rosters expanded he was brought up from the Triple-A Tidewater club to make his major league debut on September 1st. Calvin was the starting pitcher that game, but yielded five runs in just an inning and a third of work facing the Padres. He did not factor into the decision once New York rallied to a 10-6 victory over San Diego. Schiraldi finished that year with a 0-2 record and disappointing 5.71 ERA.
Calvin began the next season back at Tidewater. He was quickly recalled to New York on April 20, 1985. Schiraldi's first start back occurred on April 22nd. It resulted in his first career major league victory. A Mets 7-6 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis.
The rookie pitcher fractured his right small toe, and was forced onto the disabled list for two weeks in May. Calvin was struggling at the big league level. His worst outing came on June 11th in Philadelphia. Schiraldi surrendered 10 earned runs in just 1-1/3 innings during the 26-7 destruction of the Mets by the Phillies. It was no surprise that New York returned him to the Tides on June 19th.
A return back to the Mets happened when rosters expanded at season's end. Calvin came from the bullpen and recorded the final two outs of the fifth-inning on September 14th. That game would become his last for the Mets. He was traded to the Boston Red Sox along with Wes Gardner, John Christensen. and LaSchelle Tarver in exchange for Bob Ojeda, John Mitchell, Tom McCarthy, and Chris Bayer on November 13, 1985. His performance over the two seasons in New York yielded a 2-3 record, and 7.63 ERA in 15 appearances.
"I had my chances in New York and didn't capitalize. My last two years have been up and down," said Schiraldi. "I've got the stuff to get the hitters out, but I've got to get myself straightened out and start thinking about pitching instead of trying to blow the ball past hitters like I was still in college."
Calvin is best remembered by Mets fans as a member of the Red Sox. Schiraldi was on the mound for both New York victories in Games Six and Seven of the 1986 World Series. On the 25th anniversary of the event, he told ESPN that although unhappy with the outcome of the game and series he would not change the experience. Calvin values how the adversity changed him into the person he has become today.
Schiraldi finished a eight-year major league career in 1991. Calvin became a high school teacher and baseball coach at St. Michael's Catholic Academy in Austin, Texas. He credits those things learned in his baseball career, particularly in Game Six of the World Series to forming his core values and coaching systems. You'd be surprised," Coach Schiraldi was quoted in 2000. "For me, personally, it's a tremendous satisfaction in that you get to watch kids for four years and watch how they grow not only baseball-wise, but maturity-wise. In fact, it was more satisfying for me when we won our first state championship than anything I did in pro ball. Just watching them dog-pile on the field and the elation in their faces was awesome."
Calvin Schiraldi signed his card in the set for my friend, Lou during the 1986 Red Sox 25th Anniversary Show in Wilmington, Massachusetts on November 5, 2011.