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Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End
As many pundits accurately predicted, top prospect Mike Stanton has started the season quite well for the Florida Marlins. He currently holds the #3 spot on Baseball America’s list of its top 100 prospects, and has hit 5 home runs and driven in 13 in 99 at-bats. Stanton is, by all accounts, one of the better young players in the game and a sure bet to be a Major League superstar sooner rather than later. But this culturally relevant Mike Stanton is only one of three Mike Stantons to have appeared in Major League Baseball games in the past 30 years. These two other, more obscure Mike Stantons, deserve nothing less than a spotlight today on Obscure Athletes. Because the rising star of the current Mike Stanton will continue to bury the legacy of these other Stantons with every accomplishment the future MLB great, puts on his resume.
Our first Mike Stanton is one you probably don’t remember much of. That is, of course, unless you don’t fall nicely into what our high-priced marketing department, complete with focus groups and double-blind studies, tells me our “chief demographic” is. The first Mike Stanton was a right-handed pitcher who spent 7 seasons in the majors over the course of ten years, between 1975-1985. He was drafted thrice before finally signing in 1973 with the Astros. He made his Major League debut for the team in 1975, but appeared in just seven games, five out of the bullpen. He pitched his way to a 7.27 ERA and an 0-2 record in just 17.1 IP. His big league
journey looked to be over, but alas five years later, in 1980, Stanton made the Indians’ roster out of camp and appeared in 51 games that season. Mike had his best season in 1983 with the Mariners, when he pitched in 50 games out of the Seattle bullpen, and posted a 3.32 ERA. He last appeared in 1985 for the White Sox. And the award for greatest mustache on a baseball player named Mike Stanton goes to….Mike Stanton, Right-handed pitcher!
The other ‘other’ Mike Stanton is the one you’re probably more familiar with. Drafted by the Braves in 1987, Stanton made his major league debut with the same team two years later in August of 1989. In parts of seven seasons with Atlanta, Stanton pitched 289.2 innings in his 304 appearances, all out of the bullpen.
Stanton made just one start in his career, for the Yankees in 1999. The Yanks were the team with which this Stanton enjoyed his highest level of success. He went 31-14 with a 3.77 cumulative ERA for the Bronx Bombers in parts of seven seasons. Stanton also spent time in Washington, Texas, and several other teams in his 19-year career. He made his
lone All-Star appearance in 2001, and to date remains the only Mike Stanton in the history of Major League Baseball to make an All-Star game. That’s the last beacon of notoriety that this Mike Stanton cleaves to as of May, 2011.
Why is Mike Stanton such a baseball name? I have no idea. One day I hope to make an “All-Mike-Stanton” team. We currently have two relievers and an outfielder.
So this comes a week late, and that might have something to do with the fact that I smoke entirely too much pot and just plain didn’t remember. What you may remember, is that last Friday marked the seven-year anniversary of the Astros using six pitchers to combine for a no-hitter at Yankee Stadium. What you may not remember, however, is that the biggest part of that game shared by those six pitchers, 2 2/3 no-hit innings, were pitched by obscure former Astros hurler Pete Munro.
Pete Munro was picked by the Red Sox in the sixth round in 1993. After five years in the Sox organization, Munro was finally traded in 1998 to the Blue
Jays for longtime AL East darling Mike Stanley. He made his first major league appearance in 1999 with the Jays and spent parts of two seasons on the roster, coming out of the bullpen and making spot starts for Toronto, before ultimately being dealt again, this time to the Astros.
Munro allowed five of the six New York baserunners in his 2 2/3 no-hit innings, walking three Yankees, hitting one with a pitch and allowing one runner to reach on an error.
Munro’s 15 minutes weren’t over yet, however, as in 2004, he started two games in the NLCS against St. Louis, including game 6. Munro finished the series with two no-decisions, and 7.0 innings pitched, allowing 7 runs on 14 hits, including two home runs. Munro would never make a major league appearance again.
He last appeared on the baseball radar in 2008, where he had a brief stint with the York Revolution of the Atlantic League, before which he made an appearance in a league in Taiwan. Since being released by the Revolution after sustaining an injury, Munro has not appeared in a professional baseball game at any level, and his whereabouts are now unknown.
Munro has quickly faded into obscurity since his performance in the 04 NLCS and now finds his name to be the answer to a six-part trivia question about that one glorious June afternoon in 2003, where he pitched 2 2/3 no-hit innings in one of the oddest no-hitters in major league history. And so the obscure triumph we celebrate today, is that of Mr. Pete Munro….wherever he is today.