A standout college pitcher at the University of Puget Sound, Hand signed with the Indians in 1969 and jumped into the Cleveland rotation after less than a season in the minors. He was 8-19 in a year and a half and gained a reputation for being hard to coach. He was returned to the minors, then swapped to the Rangers. In 1972, he was 10-14 with a 3.32 ERA for Texas but developed a sore arm and was through at 26. (MC)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»July 31, 1972:
Vida Blue retires the first 17 batters before Texas pitcher Rich Hand beats out a surprise bunt in the 6th. Blue allows one other hit to win, 2–0 for Oakland. Hand allows just two hits in seven 1/3 innings, but two errors and a mental boner by LF Ted Ford allows two runs. With a runner on 3B, Ford catches Joe Rudi's fly and trots in thinking it is the 3rd out. It was the 2nd. Rudi added another sac fly for the other run.