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Monday, August 29, 2022

Tom Kramer saw time in two major league seasons; Threw near-perfect game in second ML start

Cleveland Indians starter Tom Kramer walked two batters in this August 1993 game against the Tigers, including walking in a run, and he soon got a talking to from his manager Mike Hargrove, The Associated Press wrote.

Kramer then responded by getting out of the bases-loaded jam by striking out the next two batters, The AP wrote.

"He told me, 'Your better than that. You're giving them too much credit. Stop messing around,'" Kramer recounted to The AP afterward. "I was trying to be too fine. They're a good hitting team, and they can intimidate you at times."

Hargrove had some definite truth behind his words. Earlier that season, in only his second major league start, Kramer came one early home run away from throwing a perfect game.

Kramer's major league career, however, proved short-lived. While he played five more seasons after that 1993 campaign, he didn't make it back to the bigs.

Kramer's career began in 1987, taken by the Indians in the fifth round of the draft out of John A. Logan College in Illinois.

Kramer started with the Indians at rookie Burlington. He went 7-3, with a 3.01 ERA over 12 games, 11 starts.

He made single-A Waterloo in 1988, where he went 14-7, with a 2.54 ERA in 27 starts. Catching up with him that June, The Cincinnati Post described Kramer as a power pitcher. 

"I have a fastball that is around 92," Kramer told The Post then. "I'm able to generate power by having good arm speed and by having good-sized shoulders."

Kramer played 1989 between single-A Kinston and AA Canton-Akron. He first made AAA in 1991 at Colorado Springs. He then made Cleveland that September.

Kramer saw four relief outings with Cleveland in September 1991. He gave up nine earned runs in 4.2 innings of work.

After playing 1992 back at Colorado Springs, he made it back to Cleveland for 1993. Then, on May 24, he threw his gem and near-perfect game against the Rangers. The only hit and base runner he allowed proved to be a fourth-inning home run from Julio Franco.

"It just set in. I came one pitch from a perfect game," Kramer told The AP afterward. "All I can say is: Wow!"

Kramer finished that year with 39 outings, 16 starts. He went 7-3, with a 4.02 ERA.

Kramer then started 1994 at AAA Charlotte with the Indians, before he moved to the Reds and AAA Indianapolis. He played 1995 at AA Chattanooga, then 1996 to 1998 at AAA Colorado Springs with the Rockies to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,013
Made the Majors:1,336-33.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,677-66.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:547
10+ Seasons in the Minors:331

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