Tom Hausman: Mets First Signing In the 70's Free Agent Era (1978-1982)

Thomas Matthew Hausman
was born on March 31, 1953, in Mobridge, South Dakota. The six-foot four right hander was an All-State basketball player as well as a top pitcher in Laverne, California. He was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the tenth round of the 1971 amateur draft. 

Hausman would win 13 games at A ball, with the Newark Co-Pilots in the New York / Penn league in 1971. In 1972 & 1973 he won 12 games each season, posting winning records both times, getting called up to the 1975 fifth place Milwaukee Brewers staff. 

 MLB Career: He debuted pitching in New York, allowing two runs in 10-1 loss to the A.L. New York club. He suffered from back issues throughout the season. On the year he was 3-6 with a 4.10 ERA in 29 games pitched. 

With the exception of three appearances with the Brewers, he spent most of 1976 & all of 1977 with AAA Spokane, in the Pacific Coast League. There he was 13-6 leading the league with 30 starts. 

First Mets Free Agent: In the winter of 1977 he became the first official New York Mets free agent signings. It was certainly a small signing. 

The Mets Chairman of the Board M. Donald Grant was now running the team. Owner Mrs. Joan Payson had passed away in 1975 & her daughter Lorinda re Roulet was left with a team she didn't really want. Her & her daughters left Grant in charge & destroyed the organization. He had refused to give in to the new age of free agency & was too stubborn to give big money to the players. Any good players left on the Mets requested trades.

Mets Career: Hausman began the 1978 season at AAA Tidewater and pitched well going 5-2 there with a 1.22 ERA in ten games. That performance got him a promotion to the Mets big league staff by July 1978.

Hausman debuted with the Mets at Shea Stadium on July 7th, 1978, wearing Jon Matlack’s old uniform number 32. Matlack had been traded in a terrible four team deal after the 1977 season.

 Hausman got the start against the Chicago Cubs, allowing six earned runs over 4.1 innings earning no decision in the 7-4 loss. He would win his next two starts including an eight inning shutout performance against Phil Neikro & the Atlanta Braves, at Shea Stadium on July 22nd. 

On August 23rd, he pitched another eight-shutout innings, this one against the San Francisco Giants, but lost a 2-1 game to Bob Knepper. When the Giants came to Shea, the next week, he took another 2-0 heart breaker to Knepper. Hausman would make ten starts for the ’78 Mets, going into the 8th inning twice while allowing no runs in those two games. 

He finished at 3-3 with 16 strike outs & nine walks in 51 innings pitched posting a 4.70 ERA. That year at the plate he had three hits good enough for a .176 average driving in two runs as well.

1979: Hausman began the year at AAA Tidewater again, going 6-4 in 12 games with a 4.50 ERA getting called up in June. In his first game on June 13th, he started against the Reds at Shea Stadium, giving up four runs on eight hits taking a loss.

On June 18th he gave up just one run in six innings to the Astros but the Mets to a 3-2 loss at the Astrodome. On July 6th he came into a tied game with the Padres in the 10th inning & gave up a HR to Dave Winfield taking the loss. Hausman began the year going 0-4.

On July 8th he recorded his first save. On July 14th he pitched a complete game victory over the Giants at Shea Stadium in a 3-2 win at Shea. It was just one of the two wins he would record on the year. 

On June 18th, he lost in the 18th inning at the Astrodome, when Craig Reynolds ended the game with a walk off RBI base hit. On July 24th, he lost another extra inning game, in the 12 innings to the San Diego Padres. In the top of the 12th inning, he served up a HR to Dave Winfield. 

Hausman was put in the bullpen & on July 8th, he earned his first save in win at Shea against the San Diego Padres. He then got another start & pitched a complete game victory against the San Francisco Giants on July 14th. 

His second victory didn't happen until September 26th, his last start of the year. He pitched into the 9th inning at Wrigley Field, beating the Cubs in a 8-3 Mets win. 

For the 1979 season he was 2-6 with two saves, posting a 2.75 ERA. He collected 33 strike outs & 19 walks in 78.2 innings of work in 19 appearances, with then starts. 

1980: He began the year as a starter, making three starts. On April 17th he took a loss at Chicago giving up three runs with a HR to Calos Lezcano. In his next start he gave up seven runs in four innings at Philadelphia taking no decision, as his ERA rose to 6.74.

He was placed in the bullpen where he would spend the rest of the year, as a second right-handed reliever. In June he would earn three wins in relief, the first two coming while pitching four strong innings of relief against the Pirates & Dodgers.

After serving up four runs to the Pirates in two innings on June 4th, he would only allow two earned runs in his next 16 appearances into late July.

In that time, he earned four wins in relief & his first save. On June 6th he pitched 4.2 innings of shutout relief against the Pirates in a 9-4 Mets over the reigning World Champs for his first win. On June 10th he came on in the 5th inning & finished the game with five shutout innings over the Dodges at Shea Stadium for his second win.

He closed out June with a win at Philadelphia when Steve Henderson won a game with a 9th inning hit. 

On July 3rd he pitched five innings of one run ball in relief of Ray Burris, to earn his fourth win in Montreal. The run was unearned.

He started August with his ERA under three, he would go 2-2 that month. On August 13th he pitched three scoreless in Pittsburgh, striking out three to beat the Pirates again for his fifth win (5-3). His sixth & final win came on August 30th at San Francisco.

Overall, he appeared in career high 55 games (second on the staff to Jeff Reardon & Neil Allen) going 6-5 with a save, 53 strike outs & 26 walks posting a 3.98 ERA. He did allow 12 HRs & 125 hits in 122 innings pitched. 

Strike shortened 1981 Season: An elbow injury began to ruin his career as made just twenty relief appearances in the strike shortened season going 0-1 pitching in 33 innings posting a 2.18 ERA. 

In 1982 he was with the Mets from May until early September, pitching in 21 games going 1-2 with a hold to his credit posting a 4.29 ERA. 

He was traded to the Atlanta Braves in September 1982 for Carlos Diaz. There he pitched in just three games for the NL Western Champions reunited with his former Mets manager Joe Torre.

Career Stats: In his seven-year career, Hausman was 15-23 with three saves, 180 strike outs 121 walks & a 3.80 ERA in 441 innings in 160 games pitched. He attempted come backs in the Pacific Coast League but it never worked out & he retired to Las Vegas, Nevada. 

Family: Tom & his wife Rene's son Casey played baseball at Kansas State University.

Passing: On January 16th, 2019, he passed away at the age of 65.

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