As a starter for Detroit, 6'3" Phil Regan won a career-high 15 games in 1963 but
was optioned to Syracuse (International League
) after poor showings in 1964 and 1965.
While there, he purportedly added a "greaseball," which was said to "slide" 15-16
inches. Picked up in the off-season by the Dodgers in 1966 and converted to a reliever,
The Vulture (so nicknamed by Sandy Koufax
for picking up wins in short relief) went
14-1 (1.62, NL-high 21 saves) to garner Comeback Player of the Year and Fireman of
the Year honors. Regan and Jim Hickman
were shipped to the Cubs in April of 1968,
and Regan again was named Fireman of the Year, leading the league with 12 relief
wins and 25 saves. On July 7 that season he gained victories in both ends of a doubleheader.