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. 

 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. 

Trivia: In the winter of 1977 he became the first official New York Mets free agent

signings. It was certainly a small signing, as Mets Chairman- M. Donald Grant (who was now running the team after Mrs. Joan Payson had passed & her daughter was left with a team she didn't really want) had refused to give in to the new age of free agency & giving big money to players. Of course this killed the club for years.

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 '78.

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. 

In 1979 he began the year at AAA Tidewater again, going 6-4 in 12 games with a 4.50 ERA getting called up in June. He lost his first four decisions, three as a starter & one where he pitched six innings of long relief. 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 inning 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. 

He didn’t earn another victory 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, 33 strike outs & 19 walks posting a 2.75 ERA in 19 games. 

In 1980 he began the year as a starter, he went 0-1 in April with a 7.27 ERA & was placed in the bullpen where he would spend the rest of the year, as the 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.

He closed out June with a win, 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 a win in Montreal. 

In August he went 2-2 and by this time, had lowered his ERA down to 3.10 by the start of the month. 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. 

In the strike shortened 1981 season arm troubles began to ruin his career, he appeared in twenty games going 0-1. 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. 

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. 

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


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