On the heels of Monday’s Opening Day victory over the Yankees and C.C. Sabathia, Midweek Trivia asked which extra-large pitcher and former Oriole holds the distinction of being the only player to win an NCAA title in basketball and a World Series, and for which championship teams did he play?
The answer, discussed in Monday’s New York Times (thanks for the tip, Dad), is Tim Stoddard.
“‘I played with a monster, Tim Stoddard,’ said the Hall of Famer Goose Gossage, a spring instructor for the Yankees. ‘He had calves bigger than my waist, and he had a nice career.’
Stoddard was 6-7 and weighed 250 to 270 pounds. He is the only player to win an N.C.A.A. title in basketball, with North Carolina State in 1974, and a World Series, with the Baltimore Orioles in 1983.
A few years before that, Orioles Manager Earl Weaver ordered Stoddard to lose weight. Weaver wanted Stoddard to look the way he did as a forward for the Wolfpack. Stoddard dropped 30 pounds or so, but Weaver was not pleased.
‘I lost my fastball,’ said Stoddard, now the pitching coach at Northwestern University. ‘It just wasn’t as sharp. I remember Weaver came out one day at Comiskey Park and said, ‘What do you weigh now?’ I said 220. He said, ‘Well, go put that weight back on, let’s go.’ I pitched better at 250 than 220.'”
Stoddard played 25 minutes in the 1974 NCAA championship game, fouling out after scoring eight points and grabbing seven rebounds. At a Wolfpack reunion, he compared the two fiery coaches for whom he played, Norm Sloan and Earl Weaver.
“It was probably about the same,” said Stoddard, who pitched in two World Series with the Orioles. “But what Norm yelled at me made a lot more sense than what Earl yelled.”
Stoddard did not pitch in any of the five games of the 1983 World Series. He pitched five innings for the Birds during the 1979 Series, earning the win in Game 4 and finishing with three strikeouts, one walk, six hits, and three earned runs for a 5.40 ERA.
Photos: Stoddard then (left) and now (right). Click the photos to links to the original images.