Wednesday, September 14, 2005

September 14th, 1957

Jerry Don Gleaton Born

No, he wasn't a lost member of the Beverly Hillbillies; Jerry Don Gleaton was a pitcher who had a twelve year career mostly as a reliever with a variety of teams. Gleaton was involved in a trade in 1980 which featured not only him but also (deep breath) Steve Finch, Brian Allard, Rick Auerbach, Ken Clay, Richie Zisk, Rick Honeycutt, Mario "I have a Line named after me" Mendoza, Larry Cox, Leon Roberts and Willie Horton. That's eleven men in one trade, between just two teams no less. That's quite a range of mediocre players by the way, from Mendoza, who famously never hit, to Horton who had once been a star but was running on fumes at this point to Honeycutt who had the best year of his career still nine years ahead of him.

Back to Gleaton. Jerry Don (how can you not use the first name, er, names?) spent all but one year of his career as a reliever, which worked best for his two pitch fastball/curve arsenal. Gleason mixed some good seasons (1987, '88, and the best in 1990) with some poor ones (1985, 1992 and the worst in 1989). He left the Tigers after the 1991 season claiming they weren't offering him enough money and signed with
Pittsburgh, declaring in Spring Training that he was throwing harder than he had been previously. Whether that was true or not, Jerry Don had a lousy season for the Bucs in 1992--he was left off the post-season in the 1992 NLCS--and would not pitch in the Majors again.

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