Baseball Glove

March 22, 1968

Fireball Fred Wenz. Seldom does someone carry such a great nickname having done absolutely nothing as a big leaguer.

But Wenz carried that, and his hopes of a Red Sox career, off into the proverbial sunset as he joined nine other men ordered out of the big-league training camp in Winter Haven, back to the minor league camp in Ocala.

The comfortable climate aside, Wenz was actually bound for baseball Siberia. Since signing his first contract at the age of 18, he was working on a 12-year minor league career. His bona fides as a young phenom had fully expired.

Wenz threw one inning for Boston in 1968 and eight innings in 1969, finishing his final cup of coffee with the Phillies in 1970. In 31 big-league appearances he was 3-0 with a 4.68 ERA, striking out 28 and walking 25. In the minors he struck out 827 and walked 608. His record: 39-62 with a 4.96 ERA.

If only Fireball Freddie had found a curveball in his travels …

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