Mike Norris (baseball)
Born: March 19, 1955|
San Francisco, California
|April 10, 1975, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 4, 1990, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Earned run average||3.89|
|Career highlights and awards|
He attended Balboa High School in San Francisco and was drafted by the Oakland A's in the first round (24th overall) In January 1973. He made his major league debut in 1975.
Norris is best remembered for his spectacular 1980 season. He went 22-9 with 24 complete games and a 2.53 earned run average, while also earning the Gold Glove Award. However, he was not awarded the American League Cy Young Award; Steve Stone of the Baltimore Orioles, who had a record of 25-7, was given the honor. Norris also placed 15th in the MVP voting.
In 1981, Norris posted a modest 12-9 record, again earning the Gold Glove Award and also earning an All-Star berth he was denied in 1980. Norris spun a complete game shutout in the first round of the playoffs against the Kansas City Royals and pitched well in the AL Championship Series against the New York Yankees despite getting hit with a loss there.
Many believe that Billy Martin inflicted a heavy workload on Norris, which threw out his arm. He was never able to return to his former stature, and after the 1983 season, he played for the independent San Jose Bees. He made a brief comeback as a relief pitcher in 1990, posting an ERA of 3.00 in 27 innings. He is the only player to win at least one game with Oakland in three different decades.
An addiction to cocaine shortened Norris's playing career. In 1999 he was diagnosed with cervical myelopathy, and he had surgery in January 2000 at the California Pacific Medical Center. After recovering, Norris took up golf as a hobby. In 2007, he appeared with Dave Stewart, Mudcat Grant, and Vida Blue in a pre-game ceremony before a regular season game between the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics.
Norris was well known for his distinctive green fielding glove.
- "Pitcher wants help from baseball to work out drug problem". The Oregonian. February 16, 1985. p. E5.
- Pass it on -- Norris wants to keep Aces' legacy alive