These days, 62 is not yet considered old, so when a person dies at that age it is a little more shocking, a little more saddening and a little more surprising. Unfortunately, the baseball community lost a 62-year-old member when Wayne Twitchell passed away on September 16.
Twitchell played from 1970 until 1979, beginning his career with the Milwaukee Brewers and ending it with the Seattle Mariners, spending time with the Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos and New York Mets in-between. In fact, it was with the Phillies that Twitchell had the most success.
He was traded to the Phillies for a minor leaguer named Pat Skrable and since Skrable never reached the major leagues, it was the Phillies who received the better end of the deal. In his six-and-a-half years with the team, Twitchell would prove just how much better of a deal they got.
He did not allow a single earned run in his first stint with the Phillies, a span of 16 innings in 1971 in which he went 1-0 while allowing only eight hits. Two years later in 1973, Twitchell posted a 2.50 ERA while winning 13 games, earning a spot on the National League All-Star team. He finished third in the league in ERA and shutouts that year and eighth in strikeouts that season.
In 1976, Twitchell was used mostly as a reliever, appearing in 26 games and posting a 1.75 ERA to complement a 3-1 record. In addition, he struck out 67 batters in 61 2/3 innings. 1977 was his final year with the team, as he was traded to the Expos on June 15.
Twitchell won 33 games in his time with the Phillies and 48 in his entire career. Though it was a certainly a career that could have gone longer—he retired due to knee issues at 31—it was a productive career nevertheless.
Tags: Baseball, Milwaukee Brewers, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Seattle Mariners