Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Final Card: Jim O'Toole

Jim O'Toole (#467) was a long-time Cincinnati Reds pitcher who played one last season in 1967 with the White Sox.

O'Toole was signed by the Reds in 1957 out of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (the alma mater of 40+ major-leaguers, including Harvey Kuenn and Rick Reichardt). He played only one season of minor-league ball - with the Reds' double-A Nashville team in 1958, and made his major-league debut in September of that year.

The following season (at age 22) Jim played his first of 8 full seasons with the Reds. He was the #4 starter in his rookie season. He moved up a notch in 1960, as veteran Don Newcombe was showing his age.

In 1961, O'Toole led the staff in innings pitched, starts, strikeouts, and had the lowest ERA among the starters. His 19-9 record (along with Joey Jay's 21-10) led the Reds to the World Series. The Reds lost to the Yankees in 5 games, and Jim's record was 0-2. However, he pitched opposite Whitey Ford in both starts.

Jim had a few more good seasons after 1961, but in 1965 and 1966 his career took a nosedive, and he was finally traded to the White Sox after the 1966 season for outfielder Floyd Robinson.

Jim's 1967 season in Chicago was nothing special, and the last of his 15 appearances came on July 22nd. In 1968 he played for the Angels and Pirates triple-A teams, and was in the Seattle Pilots' training camp in 1969 before hanging up his glove.

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