Wednesday, March 19, 2014

1978 Topps Baseball #124 - Dave Rozema

  • Dave Rozema was originally drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 1974. The Giants didn't offer him a signing bonus, so he turned them down. In 1975 Rozema was drafted by the hometown Detroit Tigers. Dave signed with the Tigers and had two great seasons in the minors.
  • When Mark Fidrych was injured during spring training in 1977, a spot was opened up for Rozema. He made the most of his opportunity, going 15-7 with a 3.09 ERA and finishing fourth in AL Rookie of the Year voting. Dave finished behind Eddie Murray, Mitchell Page, and Bump Wills in the balloting.
  • Rozema wasn't a hard thrower. He relied on his control and a great changeup. Dave led the league in walks per nine innings in his rookie season and finished his career with a nice 2.1 walks per nine innings mark.
  • Although Dave didn't throw very hard, he was still susceptible to injuries. Dave had two three-week stretches in 1977 in which he didn't make a start due to tendinitis. In 1978 Rozema had shoulder woes that made him miss a few starts. Dave went 9-12 with a 3.18 ERA in 28 starts in 1978.
  • In 1979 Rozema missed three months with a shoulder injury. He went 4-4 with a 3.51 ERA in 16 starts.
  • Dave had several off-field incidents that got him in trouble. In 1980 he had been up late judging a wet T-shirt contest. Rozema overslept and missed a flight to San Juan, Puerto Rico. He caught a later flight and then got roughed up in that night's game. In 1982 he and his future brother-in-law Kirk Gibson were goofing around in a bar. Gibson kicked a chair out from under Rozema and he fell. Dave had a bottle of medicine in his back pocket and it shattered. Just before the opening of the 1982 season Dave playfully shoved Alan Trammell at a bar. Trammell's face hit the rim of a beer mug and the injury required 40 stitches.
  • In 1980 Dave began the season as a starting pitcher. After six starts Rozema was converted to a relief pitcher. He still made occasional spot starts over the next few years. Dave ended up with a 6-9 record with four saves and had a 3.92 ERA in 42 games (13 starts).
  • Rozema had a similar role in 1981 (5-5, 3 saves, 3.63 ERA in 28 games (9 starts).
  • Dave got off to a good start in 1982. In the middle of May he had a 3-0 record with a 1.63 ERA. Unfortunately he severely injured his knee during an on-field brawl on May 14. Rozema had surgery  and missed the rest of the season.
  • Rozema came back in 1983 and had a pretty good year (8-3, 3.43 ERA in 29 games/16 starts). 
  • Dave started off the 1984 season well. Rozema was 7-0 in mid-July, but he tailed off and finished with a 7-6, 3.74 ERA line. Dave wasn't used in the postseason. 
  • After the 1984 season Rozema became a free agent. He wasn't sure about what his role would be in Detroit, so he signed a 2-year deal with the Texas Rangers. Dave didn't have a good experience in Texas. The team was struggling and so did Dave (3-7, 4 saves, 4.19 ERA in 34 games / 4 starts).
  • The 1986 season was Rozema's final season. He had a 5.91 ERA in six appearances when he was released on May 6. Dave was signed by the Chicago White Sox two weeks later, but he spent the year in AAA. Rozema pitched in the minors in 1987 and in 1988 but he never got back to the majors.
  • After his playing career Rozema worked for a diagnostic imaging company and has made some occasional TV and radio appearances with the Tigers.
  • 1978 Stats: 9-12, 3.14 ERA in 28 starts
  • 1978 Highlights:
    • April 29 - Allowed seven hits and shut out the Seattle Mariners 5-0.
    • Sept 15 - Pitched a 4-hit shutout against the Cleveland Indians.