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Matt Keough

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Matthew Lon Keough

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[edit] Biographical Information

Pitcher Matt Keough is the son of Marty Keough and the nephew of Joe Keough and Tom Keough. He is best known as one of the workhorse starters for the Oakland A's during the early 1980's.

Keough was named to the All-Star Team in his rookie season for the 1978 Athletics, recording an ERA of 3.24 that belied his 8-15 won-loss record. However, he had a dreadful sophomore year in 1979 for the 1979 Athletics, tying a major league record by losing his first 14 decisions and finishing the year 2-17. His winning percentage of .105 was the worst recorded by a pitcher since 1916 (Jack Nabors and Tom Sheehan).

Keough enjoyed a resurgence after the 1980 Athletics hired Billy Martin as their manager. He tossed a shutout in his first outing of the year and won his first three starts. As part of Martin's "five aces" rotation, Keough and his fellow starters were subjected to a workload unheard of for modern pitchers. Keough completed 13 of his first 16 starts and 16 of his first 20 in 1980. His 20 complete games for the season placed him third in the AL behind teammates Rick Langford and Mike Norris. For the season, he recorded a 16-13 record and a 2.92 ERA and was named 1980 AL Comeback Player of the Year.

Keough won his first five starts for the 1981 Athletics, but began to feel pain in his shoulder in May of that year. He pitched through the pain and performed admirably in a losing effort in Game 3 of the 1981 ALCS, giving up 1 earned run in 8 1/3 innings in a game the A's would lose 4-0.

The wear and tear began to catch up with Keough and he had an awful season for the 1982 Athletics, putting up a 5.72 ERA. He walked more batters than he struck out and he led the league in home runs allowed, earned runs allowed, and losses.

In 1983 Keough was traded by the 1983 Athletics to the 1983 Yankees for minor leaguers Ben Callahan and Marshall Brant. He continued to struggle, putting up a 5.33 ERA in 99 2/3 innings. In 1984, he voluntarily went down to the AA Nashville Sounds in the spring in an unsuccessful attempt to learn a knuckleball, and finally succumbed to the shoulder pain. Keough was placed on the disabled list with a strained rotator cuff and was released at the end of the year. He made 4 appearances for the 1985 Cardinals, and then managed to make the 1986 Cubs as a non-roster invitee out of spring training, but was released on June 14. Keough then hooked up with the 1986 Astros for 10 appearances and 5 starts.

Following the season, Keough joined the Hanshin Tigers in Japan and pitched for them from 1987 to 1990. He began his Nippon Pro Baseball career by going 11-14, 3.80 for the 1987 Tigers, then was 12-12, 2.76 in his best season a year later. He was sixth in the Central League in ERA and led foreign pitchers in the CL despite a league-high 8 hit batsmen. In 1989, Matt allowed the most earned runs in the circuit (83) en route to a 5-9, 3.72 season. Continuing to decline, Keough was 7-9 with a 5.00 ERA in his fourth and last year with Hanshin. Overall, he had gone 45-44, 3.73 in Japan.

He attempted to return to the major leagues with the 1991 Angels but did not make the team. The following year, Keough made a bid to make the 1992 Angels as well, but while sitting in the dugout during a spring training game at Scottsdale Stadium outside Phoenix, he was hit in the right temple by a foul ball off the bat of the Giants' John Patterson. The blow caused a life-threatening blood clot, which required surgery and ended his career. Keough took a job in 1992 as a minor league scout with the Angels and was employed by the Angels through 1999. He has also worked as a scout for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and is currently Special Assistant to the General Manager for the Oakland A's.

In April 2005, Keough was involved in a car accident while driving while intoxicated. He pled guilty to drunk driving, injuring a pedestrian, and leaving the scene of an accident and afterward checked into a Betty Ford Clinic and an outpatient alcoholism program. Keough served three months in jail for charges related to the incident.

Keough is seperated from November 1980 Playboy Centerfold Jeana Tomasina. His son, Shane Keough, is a shortstop who was signed by the A's as a draft and follow in 2006 after being made their 36th pick in the June, 2005 draft.

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