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Phil Huffman

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Phillip Lee Huffman

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As a 21-year-old rookie with the Toronto Blue Jays in 1979, Phil Huffman led the American League with 18 losses. Overall, all of his statistics were pretty bad: in 173 innings, he gave up 220 hits and 68 walks, but struck out only 56. His ERA was 5.77, worst among qualifying pitchers that season. Yet, he still managed to pitch a shutout, a one-hitter against the Oakland Athletics on August 27th, in a game the Jays won, 7-0. Jim Essian got the only hit, a single to lead off the top of the 6th inning. It was his final major league win, as he went 0-4 in his final six starts of the year, then did not come back to the majors until 1985, when he made a couple of appearances with the Baltimore Orioles late in the season.

Huffman was a second-round pick by the San Francisco Giants in the 1977 amateur draft, then less than a year later, was one of seven players traded by the Giants to the Oakland Athletics in return for Vida Blue on March 15, 1978. A few months later, on August 15th, he was sent to the Blue Jays along with Willie Horton in return for Rico Carty in what was otherwise a trade of aging designated hitters. He was considered a top pitching prospect when he made the Jays' staff out of spring training in 1979, but his trying rookie season put an end to that.

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