Brett Daniel Tomko (born April 7, 1973) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cincinnati Reds, San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics, Texas Rangers, and Kansas City Royals.
|Born: April 7, 1973|
|May 27, 1997, for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 24, 2011, for the Texas Rangers|
|Earned run average||4.65|
High school yearsEdit
Tomko attended Florida Southern College for one season in 1995, leading the team to the NCAA Division II National Championship against Georgia College. He went 15-2 with a 1.35 ERA and struck out 154 batters in 126.3 innings that season, with opponents hitting just .180 against him. He pitched two complete game shutouts in the Championship Series, including one in the final game, earning him the Tournament's "outstanding player" award. In addition, he won both the NCAA Division II Pitcher and Player of the Year Awards by the American Baseball Coaches Association.
In 2014, the NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year Award was renamed the Brett Tomko Award in his honor.
Draft and minor league yearsEdit
Tomko had been drafted out of high school by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 20th round of the 1994 draft, but chose to attend college at Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, California) for a year. In 1995, he was drafted in the second round by the Cincinnati Reds. He signed with the Reds on June 28, 1995.
He pitched for three years in the Reds minor league system, making stops at Charleston in 1995, Chattanooga in 1996 (where he was named the Reds' top prospect by Baseball America) and Indianapolis in 1997 before getting called up to the Major Leagues during the 1997 season.
Major League BaseballEdit
Tomko made his first Major League appearance, and first Major League start, against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 27, 1997. He pitched 6 innings and gave up 2 runs while taking the loss in the Reds 2-1 defeat.
He remained in the Reds starting rotation for three seasons.
He was traded on February 10, 2000, to the Seattle Mariners, along with Antonio Pérez, Jake Meyer, and Mike Cameron for Ken Griffey, Jr.. Seattle used him primarily as a reliever and spot starter during the next two seasons. He also spent some time with Seattle's Triple-A team in Tacoma in both 2000 & 2001.
San Diego PadresEdit
On December 11, 2001, the Mariners traded Tomko (along with Ramón Vázquez, Tom Lampkin and cash) to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Wascar Serrano, Alex Arias and Ben Davis. He returned to the starting rotation with San Diego, making 32 starts, his most since 1998 with the Reds.
St. Louis CardinalsEdit
San Francisco GiantsEdit
He signed with the San Francisco Giants as a free agent prior to the 2004 season and pitched with them for two seasons. Tomko's tenure with the Giants effectively ended when the team declined to offer him salary arbitration before the 2006 season.
Los Angeles DodgersEdit
On December 21, 2005, he agreed to a two-year contract worth a reported $8.7 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He pitched both as a starter and a reliever during his two seasons in Los Angeles. During his time with the Dodgers, Tomko's poor pitching and propensity to give up home runs led to Dodger fans giving him the nickname "Bombko".
San Diego Padres (second stint)Edit
After being designated for assignment by the Dodgers, he was signed by the San Diego Padres on September 4, 2007.
Kansas City RoyalsEdit
On June 12, 2008, the Royals designated Tomko for assignment and on June 20, 2008, he was released.
San Diego Padres (third stint)Edit
He signed with the San Diego Padres on June 27, 2008, but was released on September 1.
New York YankeesEdit
On February 13, 2009, the New York Yankees signed Tomko to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. He began the season with Triple-A Scranton. He was called up by the Yankees on May 9. Tomko was designated for assignment on July 21, 2009, to make room on the roster for Sergio Mitre. He criticized the Yankees for not using him enough, despite his excellent spring training and minor league numbers, and said his 5.25 ERA was due to a lack of use. He was released on July 29.
He then signed with Oakland Athletics. On August 17, 2009, Tomko defeated the Yankees in his first start for Oakland. He resigned with Oakland during the 2009-2010 offseason and rehabbed with the Sacramento River Cats.
On February 19, 2011, the Texas Rangers signed Tomko to a minor league contract with no invitation to spring training. On April 20, the Rangers purchased his contract from the minors and called him up. He was outrighted to Triple-A on May 27. After the 2011 season, he elected for free agency.
Cincinnati Reds (second stint)Edit
On February 19, 2012, Tomko signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds worth $480,000. On August 2, 2012, Tomko was released by the Reds. Tomko was 0-6 with a 3.78 ERA in 12 starts with Triple-A Louisville. In a rehab start with the Arizona League Reds, he lasted 1.1 innings, giving up 8 runs (7 earned) off of 9 hits.
In March, 2013 Tomko signed a contract with the York Revolution of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball. He retired in August and joined the Kansas City Royals organization as a scout.
Kansas City Royals (second stint)Edit
On March 14, 2014, Tomko agreed to a minor league contract with the Kansas City Royals. On June 3, Tomko was released by the Royals.
Tomko signed a minor league deal with the Colorado Rockies on June 10, 2014.
Tomko's father won a contest of over 11,000 entries in The Plain Dealer for naming the Cleveland Cavaliers NBA team. His entry stated, "The name Cleveland Cavaliers represents a group of daring, fearless men whose life's pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds."
- "Brett Tomko Statistics". Baseball-Reference.com. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "ESPN - Brett Tomko Stats, News, Photos - San Diego Padres - MLB Baseball". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "Brett Tomko Jersey Retirement". Florida Southern College. Archived from the original on 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "Division II Pitcher of the Year Award Named After Former Moc Brett Tomko". Florida Southern College. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "The Official Site of The San Diego Padres: Team: Player Information: Biography and Career Highlights". MLB.com. Retrieved 2007-10-05.
- "It's not how you start, it's how you finish... unless how you start basically screws everything up". The Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13.
- Tomko joins Yanks on Minors deal
- Slusser, Susan (August 26, 2010). "A's hit make-or-break stretch on road". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- Durrett, Richard (February 19, 2011). "Brett Tomko signs minor league deal". ESPN.
- Rangers bring Tomko back to major leagues, Associated Press, April 20, 2011.
- Axisa, Mike. "22 Triple-A Players Elect Free Agency". MLBTradeRumors.com. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-08-05. Retrieved 2012-08-02.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- WHP TV, York Revolution signs former MLB RHP Brett Tomko, March 22, 2013
- Sovereign Bank Stadium crowd bids adieu to Brett Tomko Archived October 2, 2013, at the Wayback Machine
- "Tomko, Troncoso agree deals with Royals". Associated Press. ESPN.com. March 14, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
- "New York Yankees pitcher Brett Tomko's next career will play with awesome sports imagery". NJ.com. Retrieved 13 September 2017.
- "CC, Yanks take in Magic-Cavs Game 5". Major League Baseball. Retrieved 13 September 2017.