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Tom Underwood

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Thomas Gerald Underwood

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[edit] Biographical Information

Pitcher Tom Underwood played in the majors for more than a decade, winning 86 games.

Underwood grew up in Indiana and attended Kokomo High School, where in addition to quarterbacking the football team, he went a combined 17-3 on the mound with a 0.40 ERA in his junior and senior years. He was selected by the Philadelphia Phillies in the second round of the 1972 amateur draft. After winning 27 games in two years in the minors, he reached the majors with the Phillies in 1974. He won 14 games in 1975 and then posted 10 victories the next while making an appearance in the 1976 NLCS.

Midway through the 1977 campaign, Underwood was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals, and he was subsequently dealt to the Toronto Blue Jays after that season. On May 31st, 1979, he made a start for the Jays against the Detroit Tigers, facing his younger brother Pat Underwood on the mound, as Pat made his big league debut. Tom hurled a complete game, but Pat took the 1-0 win.

Following two summers with the last place Blue Jays, Underwood was traded to the New York Yankees after the 1979 season. He went 13-9 for the team in 1980 and made two appearances in the ALCS that fall. Dealt to the Oakland Athletics early in the 1981 campaign, he again was in the postseason that year, making 3 appearances. The next summer, he got into 56 games for the A's, going 10-6 with a 3.29 ERA and 7 saves. After one more year in Oakland, he made 37 appearances for the Baltimore Orioles in 1984 and played in the Yankees organization in 1985 before ending his playing career.

The similarity scores method shows the most similar player to Underwood as Ken Brett, although Brett had a 14-year career while Underwood's career was 11 years.

In 1989, Underwood played for the West Palm Beach Tropics of the Senior Professional Baseball Association. He was inducted into the Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997.

In addition to his brother, Underwood was the son of minor leaguer John Underwood, the father of drafted player J.D. Underwood, and the husband of LPGA golfer Christine Morra.

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