Mar 21, 2015

Former Italian / American Mets Pitcher: Danny Boitano (1981)

Danny Jon Boitano was born March 22, 1953 in Sacramento, California. The six foot right hander was a highly touted prospect, getting drafted first round by the St. Louis Cardinals (18th pick overall) but did not sign. He was then chosen first round by the Philadelphia Phillies (17th pick overall) but again did not sign.

The next year he was being pursued by the Montreal Expos & Milwaukee Brewers but once again was chosen first round by the Phillies (11th pick overall) & this time he did sign. 

 Boitano went 8-2 with a 2.08 ERA in the New York / Penn. League in 1974 making his future look even brighter. But he didn’t pitch as well moving through the levels of the minor leagues, going 37-43 through 1978. He still got his chance making his MLB debut, pitching just one scoreless inning on October 1st against the Pittsburgh Pirates. 

 In Spring Training of 1979 he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers for Gary Beare. He would pitch in just 16 games of relief over the next two seasons posting an 0-1 record. In 1980 he allowed 16 earned runs in 17.2 innings of work, ballooning his ERA to 8.15. 

In April of 1981 the New York Mets purchased his contract. He arrived for his promotion pictures with a thick bushy moustache as if he were auditioning for a barber shop quartet, qualifying him for one of the Mets all time best moustache's. At AAA Tidewater he went 5-6 with seven saves posting a 3.74 ERA in 40 appearances. 

He made his Mets debut on August 16th, 1981 at Shea Stadium, allowing one run against the Philadelphia Phillies in the Mets 5-2 win. He earned his first win in Cincinnati after pitching a scoreless 7th inning while being down 4-1. Then Dave Kingman belted a grand slam HR leading Boitano & the Mets to a victory over the Reds. 

After a blown save & a loss, he earned his second win on September 21st, when John Stearns scored on a wild pitch, to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-3, in the bottom of the 13th inning. In 15 appearances he was 2-1 with a 5.51 ERA allowing ten earned runs in 1.1 innings.
  The following season he was traded along with Doug Flynn to the Texas Rangers for Jim Kern. There he pitched 19 games for the Rangers, before finishing his brief five season career.

In 51 career appearances Boitano was 2-2 with a 5.56 career ERA. He struck out 52 batters walked 28 in 71 innings of work. Unfortunately the highly touted prospect never panned out.

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