Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sunday School: Phillies History Lesson 92

Woodrow "Woodie" Fryman was a pitcher with the Phillies from 1968-1972. The left-handed Fryman made his big league debut in 1966 as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In his two seasons with the Pirates, Fryman posted a 15-17 record and a 3.91 ERA in 64 games.

Following the 1967 season, Fryman was among the group of four players that the Phillies got in exchange for hurler Jim Bunning.

A powerful lefty, who relied on his fastball, Fryman started strong with Philadelphia in 1968. In his third start of the season, he threw a 2-hit shutout against the Astros and in May he tossed back-to-back shutouts against the Cardinals and Metropolitans, allowing a total of 8 hits in those games. Fryman became the Phillies' lone representative in that summer's All-star Game.

Despite the outstanding start that season, a troublesome second half left the Kentucky native, Fryman, with a 12-14 record by season's end, but his 2.71 ERA was evidence of the solid efforts he put forth all year.

The following season, Fryman, who stood 6-feet-3-inches tall and weighed around 200 pounds, posted another dozen wins, but his ERA wasn't as sharp and rose to 4.41 in 36 games. Fryman would miss much of the 1970 season with an elbow issue.

In 1971, Fryman began the season exclusively in the Phillies' bullpen, but eventually reentered the starting rotation and won 10 of his 17 starts, including 2 shutouts.

A slow start in 1972, in which Fryman posted a 4-10 record and a 4.36 ERA, got Fryman placed on waivers. He was claimed by the Tigers and went 10-3 with a 2.06 ERA in the second half of the season, to help Detroit lock down a division title.

Fryman proceeded to post 6-13 and 6-9 records over the next two seasons with Detroit respectively. Those lackluster performances earned him a trip out of town, as the Tigers dealt Fryman to the Expos for catcher Terry Humphrey and pitcher Tom Walker after the 1974 season.

As a member of the Expos pitching staff in 1975, Fryman sported a 9-12 record with a 3.32 ERA. That year he also put together a string of 32 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. In 1976, Fryman was again an All-star, this time for Montreal, as he had an 8-6 record and a 3.74 ERA at the mid-season point. He ended his 1976 campaign with a 13-13 record, however.

Fryman would continue pitching in the Majors through the 1983 season, spending time with the Reds and Cubs before returning to close out his career with four seasons in the Montreal Expos' bullpen.

By the end of his MLB career, Fryman had thrown 68 complete games, 27 shutouts and recorded 141 wins. In 1995, he was inducted into the Montreal Expos Hall of Fame and in 2005, he was inducted into the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame.

A veteran of 18 Major League seasons, Woodie Fryman passed away this year at the age of 70.

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