• Tom Underwood Passes

    Posted by on November 25th, 2010 · Comments (1)

    Sad news -

    Tom Underwood, who pitched in the major leagues in 1974-84, died around midnight on Monday in West Palm Beach, Fla., following an 18-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

    (h/t BBTF.)

    Underwood threw some really good games for the Yankees back in 1980:

    Rk Date Tm Opp Rslt App,Dec IP H R ER BB SO HR GSc 6
    1 1980-05-17 NYY TEX W 3-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 1 6 0 84
    2 1980-09-01 NYY OAK W 5-0 SHO9 ,W 9.0 4 0 0 2 6 0 83
    3 1980-05-10 NYY MIN L 0-1 GS-9 8.2 3 0 0 1 6 0 83
    4 1980-06-07 NYY SEA W 1-0 GS-9 ,W 8.2 3 0 0 2 6 0 82
    5 1980-07-16 NYY MIN W 11-1 GS-7 ,W 7.0 3 1 1 1 3 0 69
    Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
    Generated 11/25/2010.

    .

    Whenever I think of Underwood, I think of my dad. Back in the day, when Tom was pitching for the Yankees, we had an ongoing joke. Underwood was not the tallest pitcher in the world. And, with each start, it seemed like he was getting shorter up on the hill. After a while, we started calling him “The Incredible Shrinking Pitcher.” Granted, this was part because of his height – generously listed at five-eleven – and part the effect of camera angles. But, it added a layer of entertainment for us watching a really good Yankees team that was an odd collection of players.  Sad to think now that Underwood has passed on at such an early age.

    Comments on Tom Underwood Passes

    1. Jim TreshFan
      November 25th, 2010 | 11:14 am

      FWIW, Underwood was listed as being 5’11″ tall.

      He was a very competent starter for the Yankees in 1980, but fell apart in 1981 and was “shipped off,” as it were.

      He was part of the Rick Cerone deal that was made to get the Yankees a MLB level catcher after 1979. The cost was Chris Chambliss and a prospect named Damaso Garcia.

      I’ll always remember Underwood as part of that ill fated 1980 team that rolled off 103 regular season wins and got swept in the ALCS. To this day I firmly believe that had the Yankees gotten by the Royals they would have taken down the Phillies for the World Championship. As it was that would not come to be until 2009.

      RIP Tom Underwood.

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