Many Cleveland Indians fans of the late 1990′s and early 2000′s will fondly remember former reliever Steve Karsay, whose three-and-a-half seasons in Cleveland were arguably the best of his career, and some fans still rue the deal that traded him away.
Karsay, now a pitching coach with the High-A Carolina Mudcats in the Indians farm system, is apparently the answer to an interesting bit of triva regarding the 2014 Hall of Fame Class (SPs Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, 1B/DH Frank Thomas, and managers Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre), according to ESPN.com’s Tim Kurkjian:
The entire article is pretty entertaining, as Karsay has a good sense of humour regarding his unusual place in history. Later in the article Karsay reflects on his brief time with Thomas, whom he played with in Oakland in 2006, when both players were near the end of their careers:
Karsay, now 42, played in the big leagues for 11 years, retiring after the 2006 season. A right-handed pitcher, he went 32-39 with a 4.01 ERA, mostly as a reliever, over the course of that career. Steve Hirdt of the Elias Sports Bureau found that Karsay is the only man to have been a teammate of this year’s three player inductees and a player for the three manager inductees. He played with Maddux and Glavine in Atlanta and Thomas in Oakland. He played for La Russa with the A’s, Cox with the Braves and Torre with the Yankees.
Karsay finished his career that season while Thomas was in his first year with the A’s after 16 seasons with the White Sox.
“I didn’t get much time [9 1/3 innings] with him in Oakland, but I faced him a lot of times when I was a young guy with the Indians and he was with the White Sox,” Karsay says. “We used to talk a lot about the AL Central in the ’90s. I always had a tough time with him because he was such a great hitter. I always remember how big he was, a huge man.”