Thursday, December 15, 2016

#391 Ken Sanders  

AL fireman of year 1971....the pinnacle peak of up and down career....led AL in games, games finished, and saves...Milwaukee years were an island of stability and minor stardom in a sea of vagabond-ish fate....Started with KC A’s...first full year was strange, drafted by Red Sox and then returned mid-season to KC....appeared in 62 games, good for 6th in AL...then returned to A’s minor league system for three years, surprising given the increased demand for pitching due to expansion...Big break came in 1970 as he was added as a throw in a trade to the Pilots (not yet Brewers)....Still started in AAA but was very effective in the PCL and earned a call up...not missing a beat, established himself as the top closer....After the 1971 season, success was more elusive, but still was leading Brewer fireman in 1972....An offseason trade to Phillies lasted all but a month (did not stop Topps from put him in an Airbrushed Phillies cap for 1973)....shuffled to Twins and washed out...put up on waivers mid season and picked up by the Indians...salvaged the season with the Tribe....reencountered problems similar to the year before in 1974, a poor start, released, picked up (by the Mets) with better results...was able to stick around, putting in stints in California, New York (Mets), and Kansas City ending in 1976....lives in Milwaukee and worked in real estate....his 77 finished games in a season is presently the 4th best all time mark, next to Mike Marshall twice, and Billy Koch. 

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