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Brian Abraham

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Brian Alan Abraham

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[edit] Biographical information

Brian Abraham was a minor league pitcher who both started and relieved over the course of a 15-year career. He spent all or part of nine seasons in AAA, an amazingly long run for someone who never played in the majors.

He was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 23rd round of the 1969 amateur draft. He began his professional career that year at the age of 17, pitching for the GCL Expos. In seven relief appearances with them, he went 1-0 with a save and a 3.94 ERA.

In 1970, Abraham pitched for the Watertown Expos, appearing in 13 games (12 of which were starts). He went 5-3 with a 3.79 ERA in 76 innings, striking out 71. He split 1971 between the West Palm Beach Expos (32 games) and Quebec Carnavals (one game), and despite posting an excellent combined ERA of 2.35, he went only 6-12 with four saves in 33 games (24 starts). He did finish 6th in the Florida State League in ERA and gave up just one homer in 172 innings for West Palm Beach. He spent all of 1972 with Quebec, going 7-6 with a 3.29 ERA in 27 games (14 starts); had he qualified, he would have finished 8th in the Eastern League in ERA.

With the Peninsula Whips in 1973, Abraham went 5-2 with a 3.60 ERA in 31 games (five starts) in his AAA debut.

He pitched for the Memphis Blues in 1974, going 8-3 with a save and a 3.97 ERA in 27 games (19 starts). After the season, he was added to the Expos' 40-man roster, but he would never play in the big leagues. In 1975, he posted an ERA about 4.00 for the first time in his minor league career. He split the year between Quebec (with whom he went 5-12 with a 3.81 ERA in 19 games) and the Blues (with whom he went 0-2 with a 9.36 ERA in 12 games). He posted an overall record of 5-14, and an overall ERA of 4.78.

In 1976, he wound up in the Cincinnati Reds organization as well as in the Mexican League. He pitched in only seven games in the US that year, all for the Chattanooga Lookouts. He posted a record of 2-0 and an ERA of 2.57 in those seven relief appearances. In Mexico, he was 3-6 with a 4.64 ERA for the Rieleros de Aguascalientes.

He split 1977 between two teams, the Modesto A's (1-0, 3.27 ERA in two games) and San Jose Missions (6-7, Sv, 5.02 ERA in 44 games), going a combined 7-7 with a 4.89 ERA.

1978 would be the first year in which he posted an ERA of 5.00 or greater, and the first of three in which his season ERA was more than 5. He pitched for the Vancouver Canadians in 1978, going 10-7 with 3 saves and a 6.50 ERA in 42 games (nine starts). It should be noted that the Pacific Coast League of the era was a high-scoring circuit; in '78, three teams hit over .300 and half of the ten staffs had ERAs over 5.

In 1979, he pitched for the Ogden A's, going 8-9 with a save and a 5.17 ERA in 31 games (17 starts). His ERA was slightly better than the team average of 5.20. Again with Ogden in 1980, he went 2-8 with a save and 5.75 ERA in 23 games (21 starts); the team ERA was 5.43.

After four years of being around league or team average, Ogden reinvented himself as a relief pitcher for 1981, with huge success. He appeared in 55 games that year, split between two teams - the West Haven A's and Tacoma Tigers - starting only four. He posted a 10-4 record with 15 saves and an ERA of 1.89. With West Haven, he gave up only 33 hits in 56 innings and did not surrender a homer.

He followed 1981 up with a successful 1982, as he went 12-4 with 6 saves and a 2.81 ERA in 55 games (three starts) for the West Haven A's. He led the Eastern League in winning percentage. Although he posted a record of 1-0 in 1983, his ERA was 12.27 in three relief appearances for the Albany A's. That was his final professional season.

Though he had a career that lasted 15 seasons, he was only 31 years old in his final year, 1983.

Overall, he went 92-85 with a 4.15 ERA in 442 games, 178 of which were starts.

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