Monday, June 8, 2009
1989 Topps Major League Debut #125: Russ Swan
PHOTO: Swan's jersey looks airbrushed to me, but that's probably overexposure. Swan was in the Giants' system since 1986, plus his hat doesn't look airbrushed so he was probably wearing a Giants jersey.
When I saw the name Russ Swan, I knew there was something unusual about this guy, but I couldn't remember what it was. I looked it up...turns out he died in 2006 after falling down a flight of stairs. That's sad. Two years later, almost to the day and quite oddly, another former major leaguer, John Marzano, died the same way.
STAT: Among pitchers with at least 100 carer walks in the last 50 years, Swan cracks the top 10 for worst K/BB ratio (see below for more.)
I'm skipping the anagram on Mr. Swan.
Swan put together 2 very good years as a reliever in 1990 and 1991 but didn't maintain long-term success in the big-leagues. His walk rate was fine, but his strikeout rate was alarmingly low.