Note: This page is for 1970s pitcher Chuck Taylor. For other players with similar names, click here.
Charles Gilbert Taylor
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 2", Weight 195 lb.
- School Middle Tennessee State University
- High School Bell Buckle High School
- Debut May 27, 1969
- Final Game October 3, 1976
- Born April 18, 1942 in Shelbyville, TN USA
- Died June 5, 2018 in Murfreesboro, TN USA
Chuck Taylor spent three years (1961 to 1963) in the St. Louis Cardinals minor league system before being traded on February 17, 1964 to the Houston Colt .45s with first baseman/outfielder Jim Beauchamp for outfielder Carl Warwick. He had gone 3-5 with a 3.57 ERA for the 1961 Johnson City Cardinals, 9-5 with a 3.22 ERA for the 1962 Winnipeg Goldeyes and 9-11, 3.76 for the 1963 Tulsa Oilers. He spent only one full season in the Colt .45s farm system - 1964. He was 8-8 with a 4.19 ERA for the San Antonio Bullets but 0-3 with a 11.37 ERA in his AAA debut with the Oklahoma City 89ers. He began 1965 with Oklahoma City (1-0, 6.19) and the Amarillo Sonics (0-2, 6.23). Midway through the 1965 season, he was traded back to the Cardinals, this time with pitcher and former All-Star Hal Woodeshick for All-Star pitcher Mike Cuellar and pitcher Ron Taylor. Assigned to the Jacksonville Suns, he was 4-7 with a 3.95 ERA.
Up until 1968, Taylor had had respectable, but not outstanding, statistics in the minors. He had been used both as a starter and reliever, and although he had a good season with the Arkansas Travelers in 1966 (a 1.31 ERA in 30 games) his success was countered that season with some bad outings with the Tulsa Oilers, where he had an ERA of 6.48 in 21 games. In 1967, his record was 6-8, 3.30 for the Indianapolis Indians, his best season at AAA to that point. 1968 was perhaps the best season of his entire professional career. As a starter, he appeared in 34 games for the Oilers, allowing only 202 hits in 230 innings, walking only 38 batters, and posting a record of 18-7 with a minute 2.35 ERA. He was 4th in the Pacific Coast League in ERA, trailing Pete Mikkelsen, Joe Moeller and Jim Coates and tied Jerry Crider and Rich Robertson for the PCL lead in wins. At 26 years of age, he was fairly old prospect-wise, but he still managed to impress the major league Cardinals enough to put him on their roster for 1969 after a 5-1, 2.06 start with Tulsa.
On May 27, 1969, Taylor made his big league debut with the Cardinals. He appeared in relief of pitcher Ray Washburn, and it was ultimately Taylor who gave up the winning run to the opposing team, the Atlanta Braves. His ERA that year was exactly a point below the league average: 2.56. After two more solid seasons, he was dealt to the New York Mets in an 8-player deal.
1972 was not a very successful year for Taylor. In fact, he ended up spending a large portion of it in the minors, where he posted a 4.70 ERA in 26 games for the Tidewater Tides (though he did go 9-2). In the majors, Taylor had a 5.52 ERA with the New York Mets before being selected off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers in September. In 11 innings with the Brewers that year, he posted a 1.54 ERA, bringing his season ERA down to 4.43. He spent most of 1973 in the minors, but was called up in September by the Montreal Expos, who signed him as a free agent in April. The Expos were in the middle of an unexpected and bizarre pennant race, and he made an impressive contribution with a pair of wins and a 1.77 ERA in 8 games. When the Expos traded their bullpen ace, Mike Marshall after the season, it put Taylor in line to be one of his successors, and in fact 1974 was the best season of his major league career. He appeared in relief 61 times, posting a 2.17 ERA in 107 2/3 innings. He ranked ninth in the National League in games pitched, fifth in saves with 11 and sixth in games finished with 39. However, rookie Dale Murray had an outstanding second half for the Expos that season and took over as closer, keeping the job until the end of the 1976 season. Taylor was still around those two years, but was gradually less efficient, and in fact split his final season with the AAA Denver Bears, a great minor league team for which he pitched quite well (4-1, 2.71).
Interestingly, only twice was his season ERA higher than the overall league ERA in the majors - in 1972 and 1976. He was only the second player from Middle Tennessee State University to reach the majors, and the players' locker room at the college is named in his honor.