Sunday, January 17, 2010
#54) DENNIS MUSGRAVES
Dennis Musgraves was signed by the New York Mets as a free agent on June 20, 1964. He was a College All-American when the Mets signed him to a considerable bonus. After a short and successful trip through the minor league system, Dennis made his major league debut at Shea Stadium on July 9, 1965. He would throw three innings of scoreless relief in a 2-6 loss to the Houston Astros. Three more appearances from the bullpen without allowing a run earned him the first starting assignment of his young major league career. Musgraves went seven innings facing the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on July 29th. The right-hander from Indianapolis, Indiana would only allow one run before being lifted for pinch-hitter, Joe Christopher in a 0-1 game. The Mets would eventually lose the game 1-2 in extra-innings. Dennis found he has lost much more.
The next morning Musgraves woke with a swollen elbow. He was officially placed on the disabled list on August 9, 1965. Two surgeries on the elbow followed and Dennis was able to resume pitching after those. He was never able to advance beyond the minor leagues and was finally given his release in 1972. Making those five games in 1965 the total of his major league career, and giving him an astounding 0.56 lifetime ERA.
Dennis told writer Mark Simon, in his article for Inside Pitch Magazine (October 2004), that he never was given an explanation as to why he wasn't provided a second chance at the major league level. "I'd like to know myself why I didn't get back. I thought I was a better pitcher after the operation as far as knowing how to pitch. I had people in high places behind me the first time around. The second time around, there were different people in charge. I guess back then you had to be an extraordinary pitcher if you had a sore arm."
After retiring from baseball Musgraves returned to finish his degree at the University of Missouri and upon graduation went into the insurance business for the next 24 years.
Dennis Musgraves signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on November 3, 2008.