A Tribute To Milwaukee Brewers Great Teddy Higuera

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Monday January 14th, 2013

Teddy Higuera finished 2nd In Rookie Of The Year Voting in 1985.  He then followed that up by placing 2nd and 6th in AL Cy Young Voting in 1986 and 1987 respectively.

Teddy Higuera finished 2nd In Rookie Of The Year Voting in 1985, with a 15-8 Season for Milwaukee. He then followed that up by placing 2nd and 6th in AL Cy Young Voting in 1986 and 1987 respectively.

By Ben Dobson ( Brewers Correspondent):

Teodoro Valenzuela Higuera  (born November 9th, 1958 in Los Mochis, Sinaloa, Mexico) was an All-Star Starting Pitcher for the Milwaukee Brewers during the mid 80’s to early 90’s. Teodoro, better known as ‘Teddy”, began his career with the Brewers in 1983, when his contract was purchased from Indios de Ciudad of the Mexican League. Higuera spent a year in the Minor League’s before making his debut on April 23, 1985 at Comiskey Park in Chicago. In front of a massive crowd, (10,719 maybe not massive) Teddy produced the following line: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 SO.

Pretty solid start to his rookie campaign. Higuera lost his first two career starts to the Tigers and White Sox before picking up his first win on May 3 at the California Angels. The Lefty pitched a Complete Game allowing, only 4 hits – en route to a Shutout performance. Higuera then had an amazing 2nd half to his Rookie season, going 11-3 in July, August, September and October combined. The season was stellar enough to place him 2nd in Rookie of the Year Voting – just behind Ozzie Guillen. Taking a look at Higuera’s Year by Year Statistics – it makes one wonder why he was only considered for (1) AL MVP Award and how he only made (1) Career All-Star Game Appearance?

MLB Bloopers:  Teddy Higuera Milks a Cow!

 Teddy Higuera‘s Career Stats

Career: 94-64, 3.61 ERA, 1380.0 IP, 1081 SO, 1.236 WHIP

Teddy Higuera was 68-39 (.645) After his 1st 4 season.  Injuries set in and he only went 27-26 for the rest of his Career.

Teddy Higuera was 68-39 (.645) After his 1st 4 seasons. Injuries set in and he only went 27-26 for the rest of his Career.

1985: 15-8, 3.90 ERA, 212.1 IP, 127 SO, 1.173 WHIP

1986: 20-11, 2.79 ERA, 248.1 IP, 207 SO, 1.208 WHIP

1987: 18-10, 3.85 ERA, 261.2 IP, 240 SO, 1.234 WHIP

1988: 16-9, 2.45 ERA, 227.1 IP, 192 SO, .999 WHIP

1989: 9-6, 3.46 ERA, 135.1 IP, 91 SO, 1.278 WHIP

1990: 11-10, 3.76 ERA, 170.0 IP, 129 SO, 1.276 WHIP

1991: 3-2, 4.46 ERA, 36.1 IP, 33 SO, 1.294 WHIP

1993: 1-3, 7.20 ERA, 30.0 IP, 27 SO, 1.967 WHIP

1994: 1-5, 7.06 ERA, 58.2 IP, 35 SO, 1.875 WHIP

 Career: 94-64, 3.61 ERA, 1380.0 IP, 1081 SO, 1.236 WHIP

Higuera’s second year in the Major League’s produced some of his best Career numbers. Higuera posted a 2.79 ERA and 207 SO while en route to a 20 win season. Higuera attempted to pick-up his 21st win of the season on October 1st, 1986 against the Detroit Tigers at County Stadium in Milwaukee. The rousing crowd of 5,500 witnessed a great game, with Higuera pitching 9 complete Innings, while striking out 10. The excited crowd was not enough as the Brewers offense failed to produce but 1 run. Teddy’s great effort for his 21st win fell short possibly being the reason for placing him 2nd in AL Cy Young Voting. Roger Clemens finished 1st in AL Cy Young voting during the 86′ season with the following season statistics:  24-4, 2.48 ERA, 254.0 IP, 238 SO, .969 WHIP.

Higuera had a great year, but Roger Clemen’s statistics are hard to dispute him not deserving the AL Cy Young Award. Teddy had excellent seasons in 87′ and 88′ as well. The Starter also finished 6th in AL Cy Young voting during the 87′ season. Both 87′ and 88′ Higuera respectively posted ERA’s of 3.85 and 2.45, while striking out 240 in 87′ and 192 in 88′.  One of his best statistical performances was produced during the 88′ season, when he posted a .999 WHIP.  Strangely, during the 88′ season Teddy Higuera was not considered for AL Cy Young, MVP, or an All-Star Game participant. Over his first 4 seasons in the Major’s – Higuera posted a record of 69-38 – while striking out 766 batters. The future was bright for #49 – and the Milwaukee Brewers before injuries started to take their toll on this All-Star Pitcher.

Several ankle injuries – and a back surgery later contributed to Higuera producing some of his worst career numbers during the 89′ season. He posted a record of 9-6 – with a 3.46 ERA and 91 SO. The most concerning statistic was his 91 SO, which where well below his prior 4-Year Average. The big man from Mexico entered 1990 hoping to bounce back from his disappointing 89′ campaign. Higuera finished 90′ with a 11-10 record, while posting a 3.76 ERA and striking out 129. The Brewers ballclub was satisfied enough that they offered him a 4-year contract worth $13.1 Million. This was an exciting time for Higuera, with financial security and a bright future.

Sadly, during the 91′ season, Teddy Higuera was limited to 36.1 IP – while posting a 4.46 ERA and only striking out 33 batters. Teddy was the victim of a torn Rotator Cuff – and had to endure several surgeries throughout that year – and following year. Teddy missed the entire 92′ season and saw limited action during the 93′ and 94′ seasons. Higuera saw his career come to an end on August 9th, 1994 – coming on in relief at Tiger Stadium. Teddy struck out 2 batters over the 2 Innings he pitched that day. That final Strikeout was a bittersweet end to a career that had all the makings of a future Hall of Famer. Teddy Higuera attempted a brief comeback with the San Diego Padres, but didn’t make the team and retired shortly after.

Higuera stayed connected with baseball, serving as the Pitching Coach for Team Mexico during the 06′ and 09′ World Baseball Classic. Teddy Higuera was honored in 2011, where he was inducted into the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame. Many are left to ponder if Teddy Higuera would have been deserving of a spot in the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown had all of these injuries not shortened his career. Taking a look at the track of Higuera’s first 4-years in the Major’s – the obvious answer would be yes, especially if he kept up that pace for a decade after those first 4 yeats. It is my belief as a Brewers fan however, that Teddy Higuera  will remain a hero here in Milwaukee and his country of Mexico!

Teddy Higuera threw 949.2 IP during his first 4 seasons - Including all 200 IP+ Years.  The Man ranks 130th ALL-Time in Win PCTG amongst Pitchers.  He has 1 20-Win Season in 1986.  In 1987, he stuck out a Career high 240 Hitters (2nd in AL).  In 1988, he led the AL with a 0.999 WHIP.

Teddy Higuera threw 949.2 IP during his first 4 seasons – Including all 200 IP+ Years. The Man ranks 130th ALL-Time in Win PCTG amongst Pitchers. He had a 20-Win Season in 1986. In 1987, he stuck out a Career high 240 Hitters (2nd in the AL). In 1988, he led the AL with a 0.999 WHIP – and featured a Career Low ERA of 2.45.

 

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***

A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Brewers Correspondent’ Ben Dobson for preparing today’s featured article.  Ben is from Janesville, WI. He works for the County Government in working with at-risk youth in the community. he works with the youth in the Middle Schools as well as out in the community running groups. Ryan Braun is far and away his favorite baseball player. The anticipation of Spring Training help the long winters pass in Wisconsin.  Baseball is the “only” sport you can sit outside, relax, talk with friends, cookout, and listen to on the radio and still have the feeling you are at the game. Baseball is a game that brings people together. Nothing compares to those warm summer nights listening to Bob Uecker on the radio.  Ben says “GO BREWERS!”  Feel free to follow Ben on twitter and talk the game of baseball

a  a ben dobson

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Posted on January 14, 2013, in MLB Player Profiles, The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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