Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Unknown Heroes Pt. 30: Tom Bolton

Am I running out of players to write about?  No.  I really did like Tom Bolton.  Part of it had to do with the fact that he was one of my first Red Sox cards.  He was actually probably my very first favorite player.  Back when I only had two cards, my 1991 Topps Tom Bolton card was my favorite, mostly due to the fact that the picture of Bolton was better than the picture of Dennis Lamp, which is my official first Red Sox card.

Bolton was a player who made several attempts at sticking in the Majors in the late 1980's.  He was a left-hander who spent the first two seasons of his Major League career in the bullpen.  Then in 1989 he was converted to a starter.  But that was not until August of that year as he spent most of the season back in the minors.  His numbers were not impressive in 1989 as he went 0-4 with an 8.31 ERA in four starts.

Somehow Bolton got another chance in 1990 and he made the most of it.  Bolton became an impressive fourth starter for the Red Sox, finishing with a record of 10-5 to with a 3.38 ERA and 65 strikeouts in 119.2 innings.  He started 16 out of his 21 games that season.  It was easily the best season of his career.

1991 was a bit of a down season as Bolton only went 8-9 with a 5.24 ERA.  Then he went back to the bullpen in 1992 and was in the midst of a good season when he was traded to the Reds.  He had a 3.41 ERA in 21 games with only one start.  Boston acquired Billy Hatcher in the trade.  Bolton bounced around a bit after that, never able to match the promise of his 1990 season.  He was out of baseball after 1994, he was 32.

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