Peter Sven Broberg
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 3", Weight 205 lb.
- School Dartmouth College
- High School Palm Beach High School
- Debut June 20, 1971
- Final Game October 1, 1978
- Born March 2, 1950 in West Palm Beach, FL USA
Pete Broberg pitched eight years in the major leagues, mostly in the American League and mostly as a starter. He could throw fire - in 1972 he had 133 strikeouts in 176 1/3 innings. It was claimed he threw as hard as Nolan Ryan, although that was clearly an exaggeration. He and Chuck Seelbach were both at Dartmouth College in 1970. Out of Palm Beach High School, he had been the second overall pick of the 1968 amateur draft, after Tim Foli, by the Oakland Athletics but chose to attend college instead of signing with the Green and Gold. The Washington Senators chose him with the first overall pick of the secondary phase of the 1971 amateur draft and then brought him straight to the major leagues, giving him his first major league start on June 20th, getting a no-decision against the Boston Red Sox. He pitched well enough to stay in the starting rotation the rest of the year, making 18 starts with a record of 5-9, and a solid 3.47 ERA. He pitched 7 complete games, including one shutout that season, blanking the Cleveland Indians 7-0 on 5 hits on August 7th.
The Senators became the Texas Rangers after that season, and the new team was counting on Broberg to be one of its stars. However, with a dreadful team playing behind him, he had a very difficult season in 1972, going 5-12, 4.29. He lost his spot in the rotation at one point, which gave him the opportunity to register his one career save on August 24th, against the Milwaukee Brewers. He pitched one and one third innings, giving up a double to Ollie Brown, who later scored on a wild pitch. Mike Paul was the winning pitcher. After starting out slowly in 1973, when he went 5-9, 5.61, in 22 games, the Rangers decided to give him a chance to right himself in AAA. It seemed to work, as he went 6-3, 3.87 in 18 games with the Spokane Indians in what was his first taste of the minor leagues. By the end of that season, the Rangers were seriously doubting that they had a star-in-the making in Broberg.
He started 1974 back with the Rangers, but was charged with a loss in his first three pitching appearances, at which point he had a 14.00 ERA, and went back to Spokane by the end of April. There he was 4-5, 4.50 in 14 games and was back in Texas to stay by early August. He pitched a little better in that stint, but did not make an appearance after September 2nd, finishing the year 0-4, with an 8.07 ERA in 12 games. The Rangers gave up on him, trading him after the season to the Milwaukee Brewers in return for Clyde Wright.
With the Brewers in 1975, a team that lost 94 games, things turned right around. He went 14-16 as the winningest starter on the team. He also had the lowest ERA of the starting rotation, pitching 220 innings, the sort of performance that had been expected of him back when he was drafted. His teammates that year included the 19-year-old Robin Yount and the 41-year-old Hank Aaron. However, the bottom fell out again in 1976, as he was only 1-7, with a 4.97 ERA in 20 games. He was left unprotected in the expansion draft after the season and was selected by the Seattle Mariners, who then traded him to the Chicago Cubs. He went back to AAA and was 6-5, 5.38 in 13 starts for the Wichita Aeros, pitching in one of the most hitter-friendly parks in organized baseball. The Cubs called him up in late July of 1977 and he pitched out of the bullpen the rest of the season, making 22 appearances with a record of 1-2, 4.75. He was traded to the Oakland Athletics after the season and had a fairly good year for them in 1978. Pitching for a very young team that had been gutted by the departure of a slew of free agents, he pitched 35 games, going 10-12 with a 4.62 ERA. He was signed as free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers after the season, but failed to make the team in spring training in 1979, was released and retired from baseball for a decade.
He played for the West Palm Beach Tropics of the Senior Professional Baseball Association in 1989. He went 8-1 in 12 starts for the club but failed to turn that good performance into another shot at the big leagues. The talent was always there in Broberg's case; it's likely that he could have had a much better career if the Senators had let him pitch in the minors for a couple of seasons to perfect his craft instead of throwing him to the wolves right out of the Ivy League.
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 1 (1975)