Marty Bystrom

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Martin Eugene Bystrom

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Biographical Information[edit]

"Bystrom was fantastic... We had to have him to make it into the playoffs. He was just nails." - Bob Boone

Marty Bystrom burst onto the big league scene like a supernova, ripping off a 5-0, 1.50 record in 6 games en route to being named National League Pitcher of the Month as a September call-up with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1980. After debuting September 7th with an inning of scoreless relief against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he made his first start on September 10th and pitched a five-hit shutout against the New York Mets, striking out 5 in a 5-0 victory at Shea Stadium. Despite coming up too late to be eligible for the postseason, Dallas Green and the Phillies finagled to ensure his eligibility, leaving veteran hurlers such as Randy Lerch and Nino Espinosa in the lurch come postseason time. Marty made two postseason starts, limiting the Houston Astros to one earned run in 5 1/3 innings in an NLCS no-decision while surrendering 3 runs in 5 innings of Game 5 of the Fall Classic against the Kansas City Royals. Despite not lighting the world on fire in the postseason, he won a ring as the Phils won their first World Series championship. Life could not have been better.

And then... it was all over. He won 2 of his first 4 games (3 starts and a relief outing) in 1981, but then had shoulder problems during the strike, compensating by coming back before he felt ready after the inactivity and throwing too hard when he did. He was unable to pitch another full season at the big league level and muddled through two and a half more seasons in Philly before finishing his career with a tough year and change as a member of the New York Yankees, dealt to the Bronx with Keith Hughes for Shane Rawley at the end of June, 1984. He tried to get back, playing in the minors until 1989, but finished his big league career with a respectable 29-26, 4.26 record. He later re-appeared during the player's strike of 1995 as a replacement player.

On the farm, Marty pitched a perfect game for the Peninsula Pilots on August 12, 1978, against the Salem Pirates in the Carolina League. It was the third nine-inning perfecto in league history and the last of the 20th century.

Sources for this article include The Morning Call, June 18, 2000

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