Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Player Profile: Mike Birkbeck

I have ten cards of Mike Birkbeck. This one is from 1987 Fleer Update.

Playing career: Mike Birkbeck pitched six seasons in the major leagues for the Brewers and Mets. His best season was 1988, when he went 10-8 with a 4.72 ERA in 23 starts for the Brewers. A fuller account of his career can be found in a profile and interview at The Greatest 21 Days.

Where he is now: He is the long-time pitching coach at Kent State, where he has mentored dozens of successful pitchers including five major leaguers. He recently turned down a big contract to be the pitching coach at Georgia.

My memories: Like Dann Bilardello, he was one of my first cards from the first set I collected, 1987 Topps, and was memorable mostly for his interesting sounding name.

Google Autocomplete results: He is first when you type Mike Birk, ahead of Mike Birkhead, a documentary producer. There do not appear to be any other prominent Mike Birkbecks.

Coming up next: The next profile will be Kurt Birkins.

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