That’s another quote from the great 1970 World Series videotape starring Curt Gowdy. This announcer is referring to Cincinnati’s Lee May coming to the plate in game four of the series. May wants to know something about Orioles reliever Eddie Watt. He cracked a three-run homer off of the Orioles reliever and the Reds go on to take that game 6-5. After surrendering the May homer, Watt struck out the side.
And for some reason, poor Eddie Watt was vilified just for losing the one game in the four-game rout of the Reds.
Well, maybe it went back a little further. Watt pitched in five World Series games during the Orioles great runs and he lost three games. That’s not easy to do. He got beat by the Mets in 1969 and by the another May hit in 1971. That was to Milt May and the Pirates in game four.
Well, here’s the point. Despite his obvious bad luck in World Series games, Eddie Watt was actually a pretty cool pitcher. He would come at a hitter from the side and give plenty of hitters a hard time. Just ask two talented Yankees hitters. The late Mickey Mantle finished 0-for-9 lifetime against Watt. Lou Pinella was even worse at 0-for-11.
Watt was an Orioles pitcher for a dozen years. He actually made 13 starts for the World Champion O’s of 1966. You think for a moment that Watt would ever forget what happened on July 19, 1966? He was the starting pitcher at home that night against the Tigers. He was already 6-1 on the season. And his team gave him full support at the plate. He even batted in the first inning as Baltimore rang up four runs.
He would pitch a complete game and strike out 7 Tigers. At the plate, he had two of the team’s 19 hits in the 13-3 romp. That was a fifth-inning single in which he scored on Frank Robinson’s homer. In the sixth, Curt Blefary cracked a homer giving Watt another at-bat. He didn’t miss it. He blasted former World Series hero Johnny Podres’ pitch over the fence for a solo homer.
Despite this great effort, the Orioles figured Watt would be better off in the bullpen. He would register double digit save numbers in four consecutive years from 1968 through 1971. In 1970, he was 5-2 with a splendid 1.65 ERA.
Eddie Watt was tough on hitters. In 1969, he pitched in 71 innings and allowed just 49 hits. Just ask some of the American League hitters. Tough Sal Bando was 1-for-12 lifetime against Watt. Mike Andrews was 0-for-12. Mickey Stanley of Tigers fame was 1-for-17.
Watt was called for balk in his lone season starting in 1966. He never balked again in nearly 660 innings of work.
I’m sure he would take back those World Series performances if he could. Maybe those National League hitters didn’t know who they were dealing with.
He had better luck in the American League playoffs. In that tense game one of the playoffs with the Twins in 1969, Watt pitched both the 10th and 11th innings. He retired six in a row. Now that was more like it. Dick Hall picked up the win in inning number 12, 4-3