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Terry Forster

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Terry Jay Forster

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[edit] Biographical Information


Terry Forster pitched 16 years in the majors with 127 saves. He led the league in saves in 1974 and was second in saves in 1972.

The rotund pitcher achieved notoriety for being called "a tub of goo" by David Letterman on national television.

He was a good hitter for a relief pitcher: he hit .397/.412/.474 in 78 at bats, only striking out 9 times in his career. He appeared 5 times as a pinch-hitter going 1 for 4 with an RBI and a sacrifice bunt. He collected a pinch-hit single and a stolen base (the only steal of his career) on October 3, 1972 while playing for the White Sox against the Twins. The White Sox won the game, 5-4. He also played one game in the outfield on July 1, 1977. This was necessitated by shortstop Frank Taveras being ejected in the 14th inning of a game at Philadelphia; the Pirates had no position players left on the bench and had to use Forster in right field, moving right fielder Dave Parker to the infield.

Forster made his debut as a flame-throwing 19-year old in 1971, jumping straight to the Majors from Class A. He was a teammate of another youngster with an outstanding fastball, Rich Gossage, who joined the Chicago White Sox in 1972. Managers could not decide which of the two should be the closer, which explains in part why their save totals jumped up and down from year to year. Forster had three seasons of 20 or more saves (1972, 1974 & 1978), with a high of 29 in 1972 and an AL-leading total of 24 in 1974. In 1976, manager Paul Richards decided to use both Forster and Gossage as starting pitchers, with disastrous results: Forster had a 2-12 record, while Gossage was 9-17. After the season, the two were traded together to the Pittsburgh Pirates, and then became free agents after the season.

Terry Forster signed a large contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers before the 1978 season and appeared in two World Series with them (1978 & 1981). Both times, he faced the New York Yankees and his former teammate Gossage. He was slowed down by arm troubles in 1979, pitching in only 26 games over the 1979 and 1980 seasons. He signed another free agent contract, with the Atlanta Braves, before the 1983 season, but after 13 saves that year, was mainly used as a LOOGY for the remainder of his career.

[edit] Miscellaneous

Forster holds the all-time record for the most hits (31) by a player with a better career batting average than Ty Cobb. Or to put it another way, he has the highest career batting average of any player with more than 50 ABs (31 hits in 78 career ABs, for a career .397 average).

[edit] Notable Achievements

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