Fredie Hubert Norman (born August 20, 1942), is a former professional baseball player who pitched in Major League Baseball from 1962 to 1964, 1966 to 1967, and 1970 to 1980. He was part of the starting rotation for the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine" in 1975 and 1976 when they won back-to-back World Series titles.
The 5-foot, 8-inch Norman graduated from Miami Jackson High School in Miami, Florida and was signed to a professional contract as an amateur free agent by the Kansas City Athletics in 1961. He was called up to the majors at age 20 on September 4, 1962 and made his major league debut on September 21, 1962 for the Athletics in a 6-1 home loss to the Detroit Tigers. Entering the game in the top of the eighth inning in relief of Diego Segui, he induced Norm Cash to fly out and pitched two complete innings, giving up one run.
However, he spent nearly all of the decade in the minors, pitching only 15 big-league games in parts of five seasons — in 1962 and 1963 for the Athletics and in 1964, 1966 and 1967 for the Chicago Cubs. In 1970, he pitched 30 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and one for the St. Louis Cardinals, then split time in 1971 between the Cardinals and the San Diego Padres, to whom he was traded. At age 28 he finally saw significant playing time, pitching 20 games (starting 18) with a 3-12 record but a fine 3.32 earned run average, and he followed that in 1972 with a 9-11 record and 3.44 ERA in 42 games (28 starts).
His biggest break came in 1973. After starting the season for the Padres 1-7 with a 4.26 ERA, on June 12 he was traded to the defending National League champion Cincinnati Reds, for whom he then pitched seven seasons (mid-1973 through 1979), was a consistently effective starter and won two World Series rings. For the Reds during that time, he made 196 starts, including 38 complete games, a record of 85-64, and an ERA every season between 3.09 and 3.73. In three World Series games (two in 1975, one in 1976), he pitched 10.1 innings with a record of 0-1 and an ERA of 6.10.
For the 1980 season, he signed as a free agent with the Montreal Expos, for whom he was mainly a reliever (starting eight games in 48 appearances) with a 4-4 record and a 4.13 ERA. At age 38, it was his final big-league season.
Norman was a screwball pitcher.
- ^ http://www.baseballlibrary.com/ballplayers/player.php?name=Fred_Norman_1942
- ^ a b c d http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/n/normafr01.shtml
- ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2206&dat=19620902&id=qnYyAAAAIBAJ&sjid=m-kFAAAAIBAJ&pg=1884,452818
- ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/KC1/KC1196209210.shtml
- ^ James, Bill; Neyer, Rob (2004-06-15). The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers: An Historical Compendium of Pitching, Pitchers, and Pitches. Simon and Schuster. p. 52. ISBN 9780743261586. Retrieved 3 October 2012.
By Dean Hanley
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