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Monday, April 1, 2024

Tom McGraw made the Cardinals, couldn't stop grinning

Tom McGraw 1990 Beloit Brewers card

Newly minted St. Louis Cardinal Tom McGraw described how he felt to The St. Louis Post-Dispatch

His call-up to the majors marked his first, at age 29, in his eighth pro season.

"I can't stop grinning," McGraw told The Post-Dispatch. "It's like I just went sky diving."

McGraw's major league trip ultimately saw him get into two games in relief for the Cardinals, 1.2 innings. He didn't give up a run. Those two games proved to be the extent of his major league career.

McGraw's career began in 1990, taken by the Brewers in the sixth round of the draft out of Washington State University.

After being drafted. McGraw spoke to The Vancouver Columbian about his early expectations in the minors.

"I'm looking forward to throwing to wood bats," McGraw told The Columbian. "That might lower my earned-run average. If you get the ball inside on somebody, there's less chance of a bloop hit."

McGraw started with the Brewers at single-A Beloit. He went 7-3, with a 1.93 ERA over 12 starts. He made AA El Paso for 11 outings in 1991 and  then for 11 more in 1992.

For 1993, he was traded to the Marlins. He saw an abbreviated season, but did get five outings at AAA Edmonton.

He then played 1994 and 1995 at AA Portland, then 1996 at AA Trenton with the Red Sox. He then arrived with the Cardinals for 1997 and saw his two outings in St. Louis that May.

McGraw threw a scoreless ninth inning in his first outing. Teammate Dimitri Young handed McGraw the ball after catching the final out, The Evansville Press wrote.

"It's something to keep," McGraw told The Press from the locker room of the ball. "Something you don't know if you're ever going to get."

McGraw played the rest of the season at AAA Louisville, then the next with the Expos at AAA Ottawa to end his career.

McGraw eventually returned home to Battle Ground, Wash., and turned to his faith. In 2020 he worked as a certified nursing assistant

Tom McGraw 1990 Beloit Brewers card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,340
Made the Majors:1,400-32.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,940-67.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:569
10+ Seasons in the Minors:352

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