Monday, December 9, 2013

Player Profile: Stan Belinda

I have 41 cards of Stan Belinda. This one is from 1992 Leaf.

Playing career: Stan Belinda pitched in 585 major league games, all in relief. He was a key member of the bullpen for the National League East champion Pirates of 1990-1992, saving 42 games for those teams. After leaving Pittsburgh he had some up and down seasons. Most impressively, he put up a 3.23 ERA in 40 games for the Reds in 1998 despite being diagnosed with MS in May of that year. He continued to pitch for two years after the diagnosis. A fuller account of his career can be found at The Greatest 21 Days.

Where he is now: Belinda is best known for giving up a walk-off single to Francisco Cabrera in Game 7 of the 1992 NLCS. Following that game he got numerous death threats and kept a low profile during and after his playing career. A recent CBS Sports article portrayed him as an angry lone farmer disliked by the residents of the rural Pennsylvania town where he lives: “Anti-social, dirt farmer at heart, even ranting and raving during his playing days about efforts to keep people off of his property back home.” Sounds like a harsh assessment by a writer annoyed that he couldn’t get an interview. Belinda does do at least some youth coaching in the area.

My memories: I remember him as the Pirates closer, though I didn’t think of him as a big playoff goat like Donnie Moore or Calvin Schiraldi. Forgot about all the other teams he pitched for.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Stan Be, ahead of Stan Bergman, CEO of Henry Schein. There do not appear to be any other prominent Stan Belindas.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Matt Belisle.

1 comment:

  1. Ha, Henry Schein is a big customer of ours at work. Not amazing, but always funny when the worlds of work and baseball card blog reading collide. lol