The 20 worst A-Braves pitchers: #8, Blue Moon Odom

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.


5 thoughts on “The 20 worst A-Braves pitchers: #8, Blue Moon Odom

  1. Once Odom landed in the Braves rotation, I liked to say that his nickname referred to how often he won his starts. I remember Frank LaCorte being just as bad the next year (he went 3-12), but Odom was actually a lot worse, and at least after LaCorte wound up in Houston and was placed in the bullpen, he pitched pretty well for a few seasons.

  2. atl, Well LaCorte in 1976-77 was truly dreadful, especially in 1977. He went 4-20 with a 6.51 ERA and a 1.728 WHIP during that time. But I think we remember LaCorte as being worse than Odom because we saw a lot more of the bum. LaCorte threw about 175 innings over five seasons with the Braves, while Odom’s time as a Brave mercifully only lasted 56 innings during one season. But we’re really arguing over where the guy who made a 20% on a test is dumber than the guy who made 22%, when it doesn’t really matter because they’re both dumb as rocks.

  3. LaCorte gets my vote. The number of innings have to count. Besides, he bashed the team on his way out the door.

    Dobson won 19 for the Yankees the year after we traded him, so I don’t understand why everyone thinks he was washed up. Pappas was also traded away around then and ended up having several terrific years with the Cubs. We could have had a decent staff with those two.

  4. roadrunner, I think we may be debating whether a slow-acting poison is worse than a fast-acting one, when in either case, you wind up dead.

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