Oct 8, 2014

Mid Nineties "Generation K" Mets Pitcher: Bill Pulsipher (1995-1998 / 2000)

William Thomas Pulsipher was born October 9, 1973 in Fort Benning, Georgia. He moved to the D.C. area and became a local baseball & basketball star in Fairfax, Virginia. The six foot three lefty got offers of college scholarships, but instead he chose to sign with New York Mets in 1991.

He immediately made a quick impact within the organization. He posted low ERA’s in his first two years at A ball, getting promoted to AA Binghamton in 1994. There he threw a no hitter going 14-9 with a 3.22 ERA, and was selected to the Eastern League All Star game. He led his team to the playoffs and at age 20 was considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball.

Pulsipher was brought up to the Mets in June 1995, making his debut on June 17th at Shea Stadium, against the Houston Astros. He gave up five runs in the first inning & a total of seven runs in seven innings, taking the loss. His second start wasn’t much better as he gave up 14 hits & four earned runs, pitching into the 7th inning in a loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. In his third start he threw seven innings of three hit shutout baseball against the Marlins in Florida to earn his first career victory. Two more losses followed & at the All Star break he was 1-4.

Pulsipher got better as the summer went along, on July 31st he pitched a complete game victory, allowing just one run & beating the Pittsburgh Pirates at Shea Stadium. On August 10th he tossed a three hit, one run complete game to beat the Phillies at Veterans Stadium. Pulsipher two more g pitching into the eighth inning both times. He made just three starts in September, earning no two no decisions & a loss. He finished the year at 5-7 with a 3.98 ERA, striking out 81 batters, while walking 45 in 126 innings pitched, throwing two complete games.

He was part of Generation K that was supposed to be a big part of the Mets future. In Spring Training 1996 he had elbow pain, and shockingly found out he needed Tommy John surgery to repair torn ligaments. The surgery ended his season & would side line him for over a year.

He came back in 1997 pitching in A ball St. Lucie, getting pushed up to AAA Norfolk as well, but he couldn’t get it together. He then suffered from depression which set him back even further.

In 1998 he returned to pitching, going 7-5 at AAA Norfolk and got called up to the Mets staff in late June. He made his Mets return at Baltimore during inter league play, pitching one inning of relief of Bobby Jones. That day he allowed just one hit in the inning.

His next outing came at Shea Stadium but the Orioles tagged him for two quick runs in 0.1 innings of work. On July 1st Pulsipher came in to relieve Turk Wendell & gave up the game tying run to the Toronto Blue Jays getting credit for a blown save.

At the end of the month he was credited for a pair of holds but his ERA was still up at 6.91. Overall he had allowed 11 earned runs & 23 hits in 14 innings in 15 appearances since returning. On July 31st the Mets gave up on him & traded him to the Milwaukee Brewers for Mike Kinkade. In Milwaukee he was placed in the starting rotation, going 3-4 with a 4.66 ERA the rest of the season.

In 1999 he was 5-6 with a 5.98 ERA making 16 starts pitching only 87 innings with 42 strike outs. In early 2000, his pregnant wife found him unconscious at their home & he was rushed to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a weak heartbeat, as a result from a diet supplement.

In January of 2000 he was traded back to the New York Mets for infielder Luis Lopez. On May 1st he made his Mets return in a game in San Francisco, he allowed four runs in just 3.1 innings pitched. He made just two starts getting hit for nine runs in just six innings pitched going taking losses each time, going 0-2.

Pulsipher was long gone by the time the Mets post season began. On June 2nd, he was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for pinch hitter Lenny Harris, which turned out to be a good trade for the Mets.

From there Pulsipher bounced around to the Boston Red Sox & Chicago White Sox in the 2001 season. Pulsipher then pitched three seasons in the minor leagues as well as in the Independent League with the Long Island Ducks (2004-2007). He returned to the majors in 2005, making five appearances for the St. Louis Cardinals, allowing three runs in four innings.

In his six season career he was 13-19 with 202 strike out 141 walks in 327 innings pitched over 106 games, while posting a 5.15 ERA.

Retirement: After his playing days he moved to Port St. Lucie Florida & worked for the A ball St. Lucie Mets as a groundskeeper.

He came back to play for former Mets All Star Bud Harrelson with the Long Island Ducks making the playoffs there, but losing in the last game of the 2007 season. Pulsipher continued to pitch in the Independent League through 2011, finishing his career in Bridgewater, New Jersey with the Somerset Patriots.

No comments: