Card-by-Yankees Card: The 1977 Topps Set, Cards #508, Dave Pagan (Article 100)
by Paul Semendinger
April 11, 2022
(Continuing a series...)
I remember him as a Yankee only because of his 1975 Topps Yankee card.
I know he was a right-handed pitcher. I my mind, he reminds me of some other Yankees from that same era, most notably, Pat Dobson and Doc Medich. Mike Wallace too. These were all right-handed Yankees pitchers, all with varying abilities, who just seemed to be a “dime a dozen” to me as I first started following baseball. By the time I cared about the game, 1977, they were gone. All I knew about them at the start was that they were Yankees who no one talked about.
Just another Yankee…
Dave Pagan had a short career, but in his last few years, it was a well-traveled career. Well, even in his early Yankees years, it was well traveled.
Pagan first reached the big leagues in 1973. He pitched in four games for the Yankees that year making one start. In 1973, he also played for the West Haven Yankees (AA) and the Syracuse Chiefs (AAA).
In 1974, Pagan pitched in 16 games for the Yankees. He hade six starts. He also pitched for Syracuse.
In 1975, he again pitched for the Yankees (13 games) and the Chiefs.
Then came 1976. Pagan pitched in seven games for the Yankees and then was part of the gigantic trade between New York and the Baltimore Orioles, a trade the Orioles got the better of, even if Pagan wasn’t the reason. He pitched in 20 games for Baltimore making five starts.
After the 1976 season, Pagan was taken by the Seattle Mariners in the expansion draft.
Pagan began the season in the big leagues but was sent to AAA in July. That year, he would also pitch for the Spokane Indians and the Columbus Clippers (then a Pirates farm team). In late 1977, Dave Pagan would pitch in one game for the Pirates. He went three innings. That was his last Major League appearance.
Dave Pagan pitched in five different Major League seasons in total, for four different teams (Yankees, Orioles, Mariners, and Pirates). In his career, he won just four games (two with the Yankees and one each with the Orioles and the Mariners). He also lost nine games (four with the Yankees, four with the Orioles, and one with the Mariners).
His career was unremarkable, but his last game ever was something a little more than that. Pitching for the Pirates, he came out of the bullpen to face the Mets in late September 1977. In his first inning of work, he struck out the side in order. Three batters. Three outs. The strikeout victims were Steve Henderson, John Milner, and John Stearns. In his next inning, the first batter he faced was Joel Youngblood. Pagan struck him out too. Then he got Doug Flynn and Nino Espinoza to ground out. In his third inning of work, Pagan got Lenny Randle to ground out (to the pitcher). Lee Mazzilli then singled before Bruce Boisclair and Steve Henderson both flew out. Three innings, one hit, no walks, four strikeouts, and no runs. No a bad way to go out.
Pagan hung around for two more years pitching in the International League, the Mexican League and the Pacific Coast League before calling it a career.