1969 BASEBALL PLAYER OF THE DAY- SAMMY ELLIS- CALIFORNIA ANGELS

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Pitcher Sammy Ellis will always be remembered for his big year in 1965 when at age 24 he won 22 lost 10 with a 3.79 ERA for the Cincinnati Reds. Ellis signed out of Mississippi State for $60,000 in 1962. He made his debut that season with the Reds but spent most of 1962 and all of 1963 in the minors before returning to the Reds full time in 1964. He did well mostly out of the bullpen that season going 10-3 with 14 saves and a 2.57 ERA. In 1965 he started 39 games and won those 22 games. Ellis made the All-Star team that season.  The future certainly was looking bright but in 1966 he had a terrible season going 12-19 with an astronomical ERA of 5.29. I don’t know how the Reds kept sending him out there- he started 36 games that year. He also came up with shoulder problems that year and his career took a downhill spiral from then on. His 1967 season was better- how could it have been any worse? He was traded to the California Angels in 1968 and after a year with the Angels finished up his career with the Chicago White Sox at the age of 28.

Sammy Ellis batted left handed, threw right handed. He was 6’1″ 175. His career numbers- 63 wins 58 losses and an ERA of 4.15.

I don’t remember Sammy Ellis at all as a player. I knew that he was a 22 game winner one year but that was before I was old enough to follow the game. I do remember Sammy Ellis in his later life as a pitching coach for a dozen seasons in with the Yankees, White Sox, Cubs, Mariners, Red Sox and Orioles. He was the pitching coach with the Yankees who was instrumental in Dave Righetti being switched from a starter to a closer.

Sammy Ellis died of cancer in 2016 at the age of 75.

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