Henry Eugene Garber (born November 13, 1947 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania) is a former sidearm relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. He was selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 20th round of the 1965 amateur draft, and pitched for the Pirates, the Kansas City Royals, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Atlanta Braves.
Upon his retirement in 1988, his 931 career pitching appearances ranked 5th in major league history, trailing Hoyt Wilhelm (1070), Kent Tekulve (1013), Lindy McDaniel (987), and Rollie Fingers (944).
In 1977, he won his only postseason game. He was the first Philadelphia Phillie to win a postseason game for 62 years: this is a major league record for any team.
On August 1, 1978, Garber faced Pete Rose in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. Rose was looking to break the National League record of 44 consecutive games with a base hit. The Braves were winning 16-4 in the top of the 9th inning and Rose was 0 for 4 when he came to bat with two outs. Garber struck out Rose swinging on a 2-2 change-up to end the streak.
Garber ranks third on the Atlanta Braves all time save list, behind John Smoltz and Craig Kimbrel.
His most effective pitch was a change-up, which he effectively delivered from an unusual, herky-jerky motion, turning his back to the batter before delivering the ball in a side-arm, "submarine-style" manner.
His best season came for the 1982 Atlanta Braves' National League West-division winning team. He recorded a career-high 30 saves, along with a 9-10 won-lost record, and finished seventh in the Cy Young Award balloting.
In 1979, for the Braves, he recorded 25 saves, but also 16 losses, an unusually high number for a closer.
Garber is a farmer in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania, where he and his sons raise poultry for eggs, Emu for "Emu Oil" and grow corn, wheat, soybeans and barley. Prior to the 2009 season, he was invited by the Braves to be a guest instructor for a week during spring training, working with fellow side-armer Peter Moylan.
Garber was formerly the Chairman of the Lancaster County Agricultural Preservation Board and is a member of the Lancaster Farmland Trust, which combined have protected more than 1,000 farms and 75,000 acres (300 km2) of farmland from development, more than any other county in the United States
He is a 1969 graduate of Elizabethtown College.
- ^ Baseball Reference - All-time pitching stats
- ^ What ever happened to Gene Garber?
By Dean Hanley
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