Happy Birthday, Mike Chris

MikeChris.jpgRather than bore you with the minutiae of Mike Chris’s entire career, I thought I’d share some of the hyperbolic prose that can only be found in Tigers yearbooks from the 1970s and ’80s:

Mike Chris, the slender, youthful left-hander, created a sensation soon after arriving at Tiger Stadium from the Evansville farm club late in 1979. His very first effort was a start against the Royals and he made headlines by pitching six no-hit innings before needing help on the way to the first of his three victories for the season.

A Californian with good credentials, Mike was a No.1 draft choice in 1977 and lived up to his billing with a sizzling beginning at Lakeland, where he was 18-5 with a 2.01 ERA. For that, he was voted winner of the Win Clark Memorial Award, a trophy for products of Southern California won earlier by Steve Kemp.

In 13 appearances with the Tigers in 1979, eight of them starts, he finished 3-3 with a 6.92 ERA. He surrendered 30 runs — all of them earned. And that was it for his Tigers career.

On Dec. 9, 1981, he was traded by the Tigers with Dan Schatzeder to the Giants for Larry Herndon. That one worked out well for Detroit.

Chris pitched for the Giants in 1982 (0-2, 4.85) and ’83 (0-0, 8.10). At the end of the ’83 season he was selected off waivers by the Cubs but was released just before Opening Day 1984. Final line: 3-5, 6.43.

Happy 51st Birthday, Mike.

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