Michael De Wayne Paxton (born September 3, 1953 in Memphis, Tennessee) is a former Major League Baseball starting pitcher. He batted and threw right-handed.
Paxton was originally drafted out of Oakhaven High School in Memphis by the New York Yankees in the 1971 Major League Baseball Draft, but did not sign, choosing instead to attend Memphis State. After four seasons with the Memphis Tigers, in which he was a four-year letter winner under head coach Bobby Kilpatrick, Paxton was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft.
He debuted with the Red Sox on May 25, 1977, starting the second game of a doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins, as he pitched 2.1 innings to take the loss. For the season, Paxton went 10-5 with a 3.83 earned run average and 58 strikeouts splitting his time as a starter, and out of the bullpen.
Following his only season with the BoSox, Paxton was dealt to the Cleveland Indians with Ted Cox, Bo Díaz and Rick Wise for Dennis Eckersley and Fred Kendall. His most productive season came in 1978 with Cleveland, when he recorded career-highs in wins (12), strikeouts (96), ERA (3.86), shutouts (2), complete games (5) and innings pitched (191.0). On July 21, 1978, Paxton struck out four batters in the fifth inning of an 11–0 win over the Seattle Mariners.
Paxton was in the Indians' starting rotation again in 1979. After playing in four games for the Indians in 1980, he spent most of 1980 and all of 1981 in the minors before retiring.
- ^ "Baseball Program to Retire Mike Paxton's Jersey Friday Night". University of Memphis. 2007-05-10.
- ^ "Minnesota Twins 9, Boston Red Sox 4". Baseball-reference.com. 1977-05-25.
By Dean Hanley
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