Sunday, July 10, 2011

Autograph Tales:Pat and Tom Underwood

Tom Underwood pitched for 6 teams during his 11 seasons.  He finished with a record of 86-87 with 35 saves.  Tom's brother Pat, pitched for the Detroit Tigers during his 4 seasons, going 13-18 with 8 saves.
On May 31, 1979, Pat made his debut, facing Tom (then with the Blue Jays).  The Tigers won 1-0, with Pat getting the victory.  Tom took the loss, although he pitched a complete game, only giving up 6 hits.  Both pitchers received standing ovations.
Sadly, Tom passed away in 2010.  He had been battling pancreatic cancer.
A few years ago, I sent a ball to Tom asking for an autograph.  As I sometimes do, I mentioned that I would be trying to get Pat to sign it at a future date.  To my surprise, Tom got Pat to sign the ball before he sent it back to me.  Thus, I added another family-ties ball to my collection.  By the way, Tom is #2 all time in wins leader for pitchers with a last name beginning with "U" (George Uhle is #1 with 200).
Tom Underwood

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