Mired in the minor leagues for a decade, Easler finally won a job with the Pirates
in 1980, hitting .338 with 21 HR and 74 RBI (in 393 at-bats) after spending the previous
season as their primary pinch hitter. Most effective against righthanded pitchers,
he moved from the outfield to first base when traded to Boston for John Tudor in
1984 but his all-around poor defense made him a DH. He had career highs of 27 HR
and 91 RBI. The lefthander was traded to the Yankees after the season for righthanded
slugger Don Baylor, another DH, in an attempt to match the hitters to their most
compatible ballparks. Successful in New York, Easler was traded, reacquired, and
released within one year despite continuing to hit for average.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»April 4, 1977: The Angels trade Mike Easler to the Pirates for P Randy Sealy. Easler will continue to bounce between the majors and minors, before sticking for good in 1980.
»June 12, 1980: Mike Easler hits for the cycle to lead Pittsburgh to a 10–6 win over Cincinnati.