Tuesday, September 28, 2010
#22 - Cy Acosta
Cy Acosta was born in Sinalao, Mexico and shortly after finishing high school was pitching in the regional Mexican Leagues, which were roughly equivalent to A ball, where after a couple losing seasons with some fat ERA's, he got off to a nice start in '68 for a couple teams. That year he moved up to Jalisco, one of the national teams, and after a rough start enjoyed a couple good years, seemingly out of the bullpen. Despite a poor start at that level in '71 he was purchased by the White Sox and the rest of the way did nice work in a spot role. After relief work at that level in '72 he was pulled up to Chicago early that June.
Acosta wouldn't get used terribly much his first season up which wasn't really a knock on him, since besides the team's big three starters - Wilbur Wood, Stan Bahnsen, and Tom Bradley - and the pair of 20-year old relievers - Goose Gossage and Terry Forster - there wasn't a lot of mound time to go around. But when he did get some time, Cy pitched very well, posting a tiny ERA and earning five saves. After grabbing the closer role in '73 he had a very irregular '74, coming out of the box strong, getting beat up a bit in May, and pulling his ERA back down in June, only to get barely used the rest of the year. Perhaps he was injured, as he did no minor league time that year, and finished 0-3 with three saves in only 46 innings. During spring training of '75 Cy was sold to Philadelphia for whom he had a short not great run before he was released early that year, ending his MLB time. He finished with a record of 13-9 with a 2.66 ERA and 27 saves.
After his release Acosta returned to Mexico, where he would pitch through the '86 season, going a combined 82-93 in mixed-use roles. For his career in Mexico, Cy's record of 122-137 with a 3.42 ERA would get him into that country's Hall of Fame (Salon de la Fama) in 2004. Judging from some videos, - they are all in Spanish - it appears that since then Cy has been coaching down there as well.
The back of Cy's card is the first which displays the parenthetical name. A bunch of Hispanic players had those on their cards and I was never sure to what they referred (middle name, mom's maiden name?). I should really do some digging on that. For the stars, Topps does the skip-a-year thing and concentrates on '72 which was a nice rookie season for Cy. The cartoon warrants quotations for some reason - I guess so we don't take "hopping" literally - and displays a factoid that sounds like it came from a scouting report. He is the last Cy to play MLB ball.
For the separation exercise, we take a trip through the NL:
1. Acosta and Dick Allen '72 to '74 White Sox;
2. Allen and Claude Osteen '71 Dodgers;
3. Osteen and Bob Gallagher '74 Astros.