De Wayne Buice

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De Wayne Allison Buice

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Biographical Information[edit]

DeWayne Buice was originally signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent in 1977. The Giants sent him to the Great Falls Giants, where he recorded 5 saves in 15 games, striking out 30 in 37 innings. He was 1-4 with a 3.65 ERA, but walked 24, almost 6 per 9 innings. Moving up to the Cedar Rapids Giants in 1978, Buice was 3-5 with a 1.70 ERA in 37 games, recording 4 saves. He struck out 68 in 74 innings, but walked 41. Jumping from Low A to AAA in 1979, Buice was 7-5 with 3 saves in 46 games for the Phoenix Giants. His walk rate and BB/K ratio were improving as he walked 44 in 97 innings with 86 strikeouts. Back with Phoenix in 1980, he was 7-4 with 4 saves in 36 games. His walk rate continued to improve: with 88 strikeouts and 38 walks in 100 innings, he walked less than 4 men per 9 ninnings.

In December 1980, the Oakland A's drafted Buice in the minor league draft. They sent Buice down to AA in 1981 and made him the closer for the West Haven A's. In 58 games, he was 8-3 with 15 saves. He struck out 88 (9.66/9), but walked 41 in 82 innings. In 3 innings with the [[AAA}]] Tacoma Tigers, he walked 3 but allowed no runs. Buice pitched 8 more games for West Haven in 1982, posting an excellent 8/40 BB/K ratio in 23 2/3 innings. Moving back up to Tacoma, he was 4-2 with a save in 19 games, with 19 walks and 36 strikeouts in 41 innings. Back with Tacoma in 1983, Buice was 5-3 with 3 saves in 32 games, striking out 41 in 52 1/3 innings (his lowest rate yet) and walking 22. Buice became a minor league free agent after the season and signed with the Cleveland Indians, but was released during spring training. With five seasons at AAA and none in the majors, Buice signed with the Tecolotes de Nuevo Laredo of the Mexican League for 1984. In 14 games, he was 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA with 3 saves, striking out 35 and walking 17 in 40 innings. With Nuevo Laredo in 1985, he was 0-1 with a save in 24 games, striking 37 men out in 33 2/3 inning with 15 walks.

Buice returned to the States, signing with the California Angels for 1986. The Angels sent him back down to AA with the Midland Angels for most of the year. There, he was 8-6, 3.45 with 14 saves in 45 games. He struck out 73 in 78 1/3 innings and walked only 22. He was impressive in 8 games for the Edmonton Trappers, going 2-1, 0.73 with a save and 11 strikeouts to 3 walks in 12 1/3 innings. Buice began 1987 back with Edmonton, earning 2 saves in 5 games with a 1.08 ERA, before being summoned to Anaheim. The twenty-nine-year old made his major league debut on April 25, 1987. He pitched in 57 games for the Angels, leading the team with 17 saves and going 6-7 with a 3.39 ERA and 109 strikeouts in 114 innings against 40 walks; those 109 strikeouts stood as the Angel franchise relief record until Francisco Rodriguez struck out 123 in 2004. 1987 turned out to be his most successful big league season by far. In 1988, Buice was 2-4, while his ERA ballooned to 5.88, with only 3 saves. His strikeout rate stayed high (38 in 41 1/3 innings), but so did his walks (19). He also spent time in Edmonton in 1988 (0-0, 2.31 ERA, 12 innings, excellent 2/17 BB/K ratio). In March 1989, the Angels traded Buice to the Toronto Blue Jays for Cliff Young. He pitched only 7 games for Toronto, posting a 1-0 record with a 5.82 ERA and a 13/10 BB/K ratio in 17 innings. Pitching for Syracuse, Buice was 4-2 with a 2.47 ERA and 5 saves in 31 games, with 59 strikeouts and 28 walks in 51 innings. The Blue Jays granted him free agency in October.

Buice was in Southern California one evening in November 1987 looking for a Chinese restaurant. After wandering around a neighborhood without much luck, he went into a baseball card store called "The Upper Deck" to ask the owner for directions. The owner recognized Buice and, one thing leading to another, offered him a 12% ownership stake in a baseball card company he was trying to start, if Buice would only get him in touch with the MLBPA. The company was called Upper Deck and Buice entered into a four-year contract with them. After the strike in 1994, Upper Deck gave Buice six more years of ownership. And so, between 1988 and 1998, Buice earned $27 million because he could not find a Chinese restaurant.

Buice went to Germany to coach in 2008 at the request of friend Mike Hartley, head coach of the Heidenheim Heideköpfe; Buice took over first base coaching duties.

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