Frank Herrmann – 2010 Topps Update

November 17, 2010

“Fight Fiercely, Hahhhvahhhd!”

I was first attracted to this card by the photo. I’ve always been intrigued by pitchers with seemingly unusual deliveries or flourishes.

Herrmann has a normal delivery, from the stretch, and then he really lifts that back leg up as you can see:

That makes for a great photo!

But then I read more about Herrmann. It’s nice when a non-drafted free agent makes the bigs, even for one game. It’s even better when said NDFA pitches meaningful innings. As with most rookie hurlers, he had a tough stretch, but he’s in the mix to contribute in 2011.

Then I found out he’s an Ivy Leaguer. Now, in baseball, Ivy Leaguers are more common than in the NBA and NFL (the NHL has some because most Ivy League schools have excellent college hockey programs). But the last two Crimson to play in the bigs were Mike Stenhouse and Jeff Musselman.

Harvard baseball players are expected to go to class, graduate, and then get their law degree or MBA and lead the free world, not ride the buses on road trips in the Carolina League. But Herrmann worked hard in the minors, putting up decent stats but then becoming a major league consideration. He made AAA for a couple starts in 2008, converted to a reliever in mid-2009 after another AAA promotion, and then gave the Indians a great reason to call him up by compiling a 0.31 ERA in 28 2/3 innings (that with NO unearned runs!)

He was used quite  a bit, appearing in 40 games over the past four months.  And perhaps he will make that big-league salary that could have awaited him on Wall Street or Park Avenue. But I bet he had more fun while getting there – and I bet not many Harvard grads have worked in Kinston, NC for a spell!

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