The 70s Braves had some outstanding pitchers: Pat Dobson, Andy Messersmith, Denny McLain, Gary Gentry … Unfortunately, their best days were well behind them by the time they arrived in A-town.
And so it was with Blue Moon Odom, acquired along with Rob Belloir from the Indians in 1975 after a disagreement over $8,000.
A number of major leaguers couldn’t win for losing last week. First, consider Pitcher John (Blue Moon) Odom, recently traded from Oakland to Cleveland. Odom had demanded an additional $8,000 from the Indians, reasoning that the move East was likely to cost him a bundle in playoff and World Series shares. The Cleveland front office said no way. Given a start last week, Odom pitched a two-hitter, defeating the Royals 4-0. The word on the eight grand was still no and, what’s more, Odom learned that the club had placed him on waivers. When Atlanta claimed him, Cleveland struck a bargain—Odom and a player to be named later for Pitcher Roric Harrison. At week’s end Cleveland was seven games out of first; Atlanta, 7�. Odom’s prospects for additional loot? Nil.
Odom made two All-Star teams before his 25th birthday with the A’s but his career took a nosedive after that. The Braves gave him a chance to resurrect his career, because, well, it’s not like they had any options. Odom lasted just 16 innings in his first four starts, allowing 31 hits and 18 earned runs while walking 10.
Blue Moon had a 7.07 ERA and 1.893 WHIP in 56 IP as a Brave. He was traded to the White Sox the following season in exchange for the catcher Pete (no relation to future mascot Jim) Varney, who would record as many hits as a Brave as Odom had wins: 1.