Roy Oswalt has announced his retirement. During his career that spanned the course of 13 seasons, he compiled a record of 163-102 with an ERA of 3.36.
His numbers don’t really tell the story of the type of clutch pitcher he was for the Houston Astros. Especially when you factor in the last three years he spent here.
With our big league team beginning to feel the crunch of a depleted farm system, mixed with aging veterans, Roy didn’t get the run support he deserved for the performances he gave.
2009 was a rough year for Oswalt. His ERA rose to 4.12 (which was the first time his ERA had been above 3.54 in his career), and his record was 8-6. It was a year during which Carlos Lee was the only person to eclipse 100 RBI, and run production declined steadily.
Before 2009, however, he was a powerhouse. Roy Oswalt was easily my favorite pitcher in the game from the time he was called up, to the time he was traded away.
He was all business and when he stepped out on the mound, you almost felt guaranteed a win.
All of that came to a head during that beautiful 2005 season, where Roy’s record was a brilliant 20-12 while sporting a 2.94 ERA. What I wouldn’t give for those numbers now….
It was also during that 2005 season that our then owner, Drayton McLane made a promise to Roy Oswalt:
Get the win and clinch the NLCS, and get… a bulldozer that he’d always wanted.
Yup. A bulldozer.
Apparently, if your numbers are 7 innings pitched with only 1 run allowed, you win a $200,000 piece of farm equipment.
Oswalt was more than thrilled when presented with prize:
There are going to be a lot of jealous people around where I live, I’m going to try to hire out and make a little money in the off-season.
Always looking to make that extra buck, eh Roy-O?
Throughout his time here, as well as with the Phillies and the Rangers, Roy was nothing short of a professional and never had his priorities mixed up.
During the aforementioned 2009 season, tragedy struck his hometown of Weir, Mississippi. A string of massive storms surged through the small town, leaving little in their wake.
Roy was with the Phillies at the time and left as soon as he heard of the storms and their intensity. He spent the better part of a week assisting with the cleanup and clearing the roads of debris and trees.
Upon his return to Philadelphia, he was quoted as saying this:
I’ve always said this right here: Baseball is a gift that you’re given to play, but this comes third or fourth on my list. You know, I could walk away from the game today and be happy. You know, as long as you have your family, they’re gonna be there a lot longer than this game is gonna be.
Well put, Roy.
He is another example of how the game should be played, and how you conduct yourself off the field as well… unless you count the time he and Jake Peavy got into a fist fight because Roy called Peavy’s Cy Young Award a “fake trophy”, and then finished their hunting trip. Weird…
Congrats on an awesome career. The only thing it’s missing, is a ring.
I’m truly going to miss that curveball.
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