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  • Crew Throwback: Jim Slaton


    reillymcshane

    When you think of the best Brewer pitchers, the names such as Sheets, Higuera, Caldwell, Gallardo, Plesac, Hader, and Fingers come to mind. Yet if you want to know who leads the organization in career wins, games started, shutouts, innings pitched and a host of other categories - the name that rises to the top is Jim Slaton.

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    Jim Slaton was born in Long Beach, California, in 1970. After a short stint at Antelope Valley College in Lancaster, California, Slaton was drafted by the Seattle Pilots in the 15th round in 1969. He moved quickly through the minor leagues, reaching Milwaukee in 1971. By 1973, Slaton established himself as a workhorse starting pitcher, throwing more than 210 innings in each of the next seven seasons, including 292 innings in 1976.

    After the 1977 season, the Brewers sent Slaton to Detroit for slugging outfielder Ben Oglivie. After a solid year, he returned to the Brewers as a free agent, picking up right where he left off.

    Slaton's career was forever changed in 1980 when he suffered a rotator cuff injury. He missed most of the year and then returned and played for six more seasons. However, his days as an innings-eating starter were over. Instead, Slaton returned as a long reliever and spot starter. The Brewers dealt Slaton to the Angels after the 1983 season for OF Bobby Clark. He played three more years before retiring at age 36.

    Slaton's time in Milwaukee was not insignificant. While he was never a great pitcher, his ability to soak up innings was a tremendous asset. He owned a 3.86 ERA over 12 years, and his 117 wins, 69 complete games, and 2,025 innings pitched are still Brewer records. His longevity also means he has the most losses in team history and has given up the most hits, home runs, and walks. Some other highlights include an all-star appearance in 1977 and the winning pitcher for the Crew in the fourth game of the 1982 World Series.

    Despite the many accomplishments of Slaton, he is often forgotten. He was consistent and solid, never striking out many batters or flashing fantastic stuff. His walk-to-strike out rate is relatively poor - for his career, he walked 1,004 batters and struck out 1,202. Still, his longevity and workhorse performance solidifies Slaton a place in Brewer history.

    After retiring, Slaton got into coaching. For more than two decades, he has worked in several capacities in the minor and major leagues, including stints as the bullpen coach for the Mariners and the Dodgers. 

    Slaton was added to the Milwaukee Brewers Wall of Honor in 2014. 

    Please share your memories of former Brewer pitcher Jim Slaton.

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    Great post. Slaton was a mainstay in his time.  He was on some teams in the earlier 70s that helped build the team for their run in the late 70s to early 80s.

    In 1982 he had a good comeback year.  He was in long relief but he won 10 games and carried out some pivotal work for us keeping us in games that could have gone south.  

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