Robert Harvey James
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 4", Weight 230 lb.
- High School Verdugo Hills High School
- Debut September 7, 1978
- Final Game October 2, 1987
- Born August 15, 1958 in Glendale, CA USA
Bob James had a career year in 1985 with the Chicago White Sox. He had a record of 8-7, 32 saves and a 2.13 ERA. His previous high had been 10 saves with the Montreal Expos the year before. He never was able to repeat his success; he had an ERA of 5.25 in 1986 and 4.67 in 1987 with 24 saves combined for those 2 years.
He was the Expos' top draft choice in the 1st round of the 1976 amateur draft, 9th overall, and made quick progress through the organization even though he had so-so results. He threw harder than anyone in the system, so the Expos were ready to look beyond his control problems. He had September cups of coffee with the Expos in both 1978 and 1979 but did not impress. He had just turned 20 when he made his major league debut. His career got derailed by substance abuse problems the next couple of seasons, while he was passed in the organization's depth chart by a number of other pitching prospects, such as Bill Gullickson, Scott Sanderson and David Palmer.
In 1982, he went to spring training facing a make or break situation and made the team as a reliever, but when the Expos tried to send him down to the minor leagues, he was out of options and was sold to the Detroit Tigers instead. He pitched briefly for Detroit at the end of 1982 and early 1983, but with no more success, at which point the Tigers sent him back to Montreal. He had a career major league ERA of 7.45 at that point, but began to turn things around. He pitched well for the Expos the rest of the season, putting up an ERA of 2.88 in 50 innings in low pressure situations. He then became one of the key pitchers in the team's bullpen in 1984, when he was 6-6, 3.66 with 10 saves and 91 strikeouts in 92 innings. However, the Expos already had Jeff Reardon to be their closer and deemed James to be expendable.
- 30 Saves Seasons: 1 (1985)