Saturday, December 02, 2006
Pedro Borbon Born
As you can probably tell by the date of birth, this is Pedro Borbon, Sr. not the Pedro Borbon Jr. who pitched for the Blue Jays and Braves among others and whose career ended a few years back. Pedro Senior and Junior might be the first ever pair of father-and-son middle relievers; between them pair appeared in nearly a thousand games but only made four starts, all by Dad; in fact, no Borbon started a Major League game after 1976.
Today's Borbon birthday boy was a middle reliever from the period when men were men and relievers pitched the kind of inning totals that would give Trevor "Sixty Innings a Season" Hoffman nightmares. With the Reds in the mid-70s Borbon threw more than a hundred innings a year for six straight years, and only missed out of making it a lucky seven years by two-thirds of an inning in 1978. Given those years were centered around the Big Red Machine, it should be no surprise Borbon won double digit games three of those years and pitched decently for the Reds in the playoffs.
For sake of contrast, his son--admittedly never the pitcher his father was--never pitched a hundred innings in a season. In 1976 Borbon pere appeared in sixty-nine games and pitched a hundred and twenty-one innings while facing more than five hundred batters. Borbon fils appeared in seventy games in 1999, pitched fifty and two-third innings and failed to face even half of his father's total. Of course, in the end the joke was on Papa Borbon as the Baby Borbon made more than five million dollars in his career, an amount the elder could never have dreamed of making in the 1970s. The game does change.