March 7, 1954 |
Glen Cove, New York
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|August 12, 1980 for the San Diego Padres|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 5, 1987 for the Cleveland Indians|
|Earned run average||4.10|
Michael Dennis Armstrong (born March 7, 1954) played Major League Baseball from 1980 to 1987, mainly as a relief pitcher. Armstrong batted and threw right-handed. He played college baseball for the University of Miami.
Armstrong originally was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 1974. While still in the minors, Armstrong was traded to the San Diego Padres in 1979 for Paul O'Neill. Armstrong made appearances in the majors with the Padres in 1980 and 1981, but mainly played in the minor leagues. In 1982, Armstrong was purchased by the Kansas City Royals. With the Royals, Armstrong pitched regularly, with over 100 innings in his two years with the team and had an earned run average under 4.00. From 1984 to 1986 Armstrong played for the New York Yankees. Armstrong was inconsistent, and did not play very often. His last year, 1987, was with the Cleveland Indians. He pitched in 14 games for Cleveland. Armstrong's career ERA was 4.10.
Armstrong's biggest game was the famous pine tar game between the Royals and the Yankees on July 24, 1983, when he was the winning pitcher and it took him almost a month to pick up the victory. After nearly a month, Armstrong recorded his fifth victory, which "got him over the hump." He went 10-7 that year in 58 appearances, notching career highs in wins and games. "It was wild to go back to New York and play these four outs in a totally empty stadium," Armstrong said. "I'm dressed in the uniform, and nobody's there."
The 6-foot-3 right-hander was traded to the Yankees the next year. In 1984, he pitched well - 3-2, 3.48 ERA - for manager Yogi Berra, but Billy Martin was brought back in 1985 and '86. Armstrong never received much favor from him.
Armstrong was still pitching as recently as 2006 in the Athens Area Men's Baseball league in Athens Ga. A car accident left Armstrong with a rod in his leg, which made it hard for him to cover a bunt, but he still had a fastball in the mid 80's. His fastball would tail into right-handed batters, which made it hard for catchers to catch without hurting their left thumb.