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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Marvin Freeman, Former Bow Maker - 228

Check out the revisited Marvin Freeman feature from June 7, 2011: Fine Arm

By the time 1994 rolled around, Marvin Freeman had been up to the majors for at least one game each of seven seasons. He had always had promise, but that promise was never realized.

It was to the point that an unimpressed Sports Illustrated pegged Freeman, who once apprenticed in a violin shop, a better violin bow maker than ball player.

"I was the middle reliever of bow making," Freeman told the magazine.

But in 1994, for one all-too-brief of summer, Freeman realized that promise, in, of all places, Denver.

He went 10-2 that strike-shortened year, posting a 2.80 ERA. That number would have placed him second in ERA, had he had enough innings to qualify. He still pitched 112.2 innings.

Nicknamed "Starvin Marvin" for his lanky frame, Freeman was taken by the Phillies in the second round of the 1984 draft. He made Philadelphia by September 1986, flashing a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings.

But he would languish, with the Phillies moving on in July 1990, sending him to the Braves for Joe Boever. (Perhaps they didn't like his team spirit, as evidenced by him wearing a hat on his CMC card when his teammates weren't. Thank The Phillies Room for pointing that out.)

Only two years removed from his stellar 1994 season, Freeman was released. A sore elbow in 1995 helped Freeman return to his old form. Radio host Jim Rome and his "Jungle Karma" takes credit for finally leading to the end of Freeman's career.

A poor showing on Rome's show, Rome believes, leads to a poor outing on the field. Freeman had a poor showing at a Rome event, one that can still sometimes be heard on the show as an inexplicable "wahhh" sound.

The event was July 18, 1996. Freeman was shelled days later and pitched his final game that September.

Freeman is currently listed as an assistant high school baseball coach south of Chicago. He's also a member of the board of the Chicago Baseball Museum.

A Reading Eagle story on Freeman from March 1990: Marvin Freeman Hopes to Pitch in

The 1994 Sports Illustrated story on the Rockies: The Scare of Thin Air

1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 51/880 - 5.8%
Made the Majors: 30 - 59%
Never Made the Majors: 21 - 41%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 12
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 17

1 comment:

  1. It looks as if the hat is actually trying to get off his head. The hat probably knew something Marvin didn't.