One-Hit Wonders: Jim McAndrew to Colt Morton

This is Part 9 of a 13-part series examining the 65 men who have collected exactly one hit as a member of the San Diego Padres. The current installment features a man who pitched one game for the original Padres, the father of a former big-league pitcher, a key member of the ’98 National League championship squad, the man who gave up Tony Gwynn’s first hit, and a catcher with prodigious power who struggled to make contact.

Jim McAndrew

Pos: RHP
Years: 1974

15  7 0 1  0  0  0   0  1 1 .143 .250 .143  15

McAndrew, the father of former Milwaukee Brewers hurler Jamie McAndrew, spent his final season with the Padres and didn’t do much. He worked as a starter and in relief before being released in June.

Originally selected by the New York Mets in the 11th round of the 1965 June draft (they took some kid named Nolan Ryan with their next pick), McAndrew enjoyed success throughout his minor-league career. His finest season came in 1967, when he led the Double-A Eastern League with a 1.47 ERA.

The next year saw McAndrew pitching for the big club, and for a while, it looked like he might turn into something. After a stellar cup of coffee in ’68 (4-7, 2.28 ERA, 133 ERA+), McAndrew made 21 starts for the “Miracle Mets” a year later.

He continued to enjoy sporadic success for the next few seasons before falling apart in 1973. The Mets traded McAndrew to San Diego following the season for right-hander Steve Simpson (who never pitched for New York).

McAndrew fared even worse with the Padres, going 1-4, with a 5.62 ERA (64 ERA+). His one shining moment came on April 17, 1974, when he spun a complete game en route to a 6-1 victory, the only he would record for his new team.

He also collected his only Padres hit, a single to right field in the fourth inning off Atlanta right-hander Carl Morton. The next batter, Derrel Thomas, rapped into a 1-4-6-3 double play, erasing McAndrew.

The Padres already held a 4-0 lead by that time. And although McAndrew surrendered a run in the bottom half, San Diego got it right back courtesy of Dave Winfield’s fourth career home run. San Diego tacked on another run later and, aside from a bases-loaded threat in the eighth, McAndrew cruised to his final big-league win. Over seven seasons, McAndrew went 37-53, with a 3.65 ERA (98 ERA+).

Al McBean

Pos: RHP
Years: 1969

1  2 0 1  0  0  0   0  0 1 .500 .500 .500 187

McBean, a native of the Virgin Islands, originally signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1958. He won 15 games for them in 1962 as a member of the rotation. He won 13 more the following year despite being moved to the bullpen.

The Padres took McBean with their 25th pick in the 1968 expansion draft. He started for them on April 12, 1969, at home against the Giants and worked into the eighth inning, when he was knocked from the game thanks to a two-run homer by Willie McCovey.

Juan Marichal, meanwhile, took care of the Padres. He allowed just five hits, one of which was a McBean single to center field in the third. McBean was promptly erased on an inning-ending double play off the bat of shortstop Rafael Robles (who had been the Padres’ next pick after McBean in the expansion draft). The Padres lost, 5-1, in a game I have covered in some detail.

The Padres traded McBean to Los Angeles five days later for shortstop Tommy Dean and right-hander Leon Everitt. McBean never made another big-league start, working in relief for the Dodgers and Pirates over the next two years before retiring at age 32 with a 67-50 record and 3.13 ERA (111 ERA+) over parts of 10 seasons.

Dan Miceli

Pos: RHP
Years: 1998-1999

133  2 0 1  0  0  0   0  0 1 .500 .500 .500 169

Originally signed by Kansas City as an amateur free agent in 1990, Miceli was traded (with right-hander Jon Lieber) to the Pirates in 1993 for submarining right-hander Stan Belinda. Miceli made his big-league debut later that year. He spent parts of four seasons in Pittsburgh (inexplicably saving 21 games in 1995) and another in Detroit before coming to the Padres (with right-hander Donne Wall) in a trade that sent outfielder Trey Beamon and right-hander Tim Worrell to Detroit.

On arriving in San Diego, Miceli turned into a pitcher:

Years     IP  ERA ERA+
pre-SD 259.0 5.28  84
w/SD   141.1 3.82 106

He was particularly tough in 1998, serving as Trevor Hoffman’s primary setup man. And on May 14 of that year, in the second game of a doubleheader at home against the Mets, Miceli knocked the first of his two big-league hits (the second would come in 2004 with Houston).

Sterling Hitchock started the contest and left after six innings with the game tied, 2-2. After Miceli escaped a jam in the seventh, the Padres got to work in the home half. With one on (via error) and two out, pinch-hitter Quilvio Veras coaxed a walk against right-hander Greg McMichael.

Southpaw Dennis Cook came on to face Tony Gwynn, who smoked Cook’s second pitch into the right-center field seats for a three-run homer. Greg Vaughn followed with a walk, bringing up Miceli. After falling behind, 0-2, he singled to center, knocking Cook out of the contest. Vaughn later scored the Padres’ sixth run when Archi Cianfrocco drew a bases-loaded walk

Miceli was stranded at third but remained in the game and retired the final six batters he faced to earn his third victory of the young season. The Padres swept the doubleheader and improved their record to 26-14.

Miceli, who was sort of like Kyle Farnsworth or Russ Springer, was traded to Florida after the 1999 season for right-hander Brian Meadows. Miceli retired in 2006 with a 43-52 record, 4.48 ERA (99 ERA+), and 39 saves in 631 appearances.

Sid Monge

Pos: LHP

60 11 0 1  0  0  0   0  0 3 .091 .091 .091 -49

Monge’s place in Padres history would be assured even without his one hit. He is, after all, the man who served up Gwynn’s first ever hit.

Selected by the California Angels in the 24th round of an otherwise forgettable 1970 June draft for them (they failed to sign 32nd round pick Mike Krukow, and first rounder Paul Dade was the only player other than Monge who made a positive contribution in the big leagues), Monge kicked around several teams before coming to San Diego. His best season came in 1979 with the Indians, when he went 12-10 with a 2.40 ERA (178 ERA+) and 19 saves, good enough for a spot on the American League All-Star roster.

Monge, who attended the same high school as former Padres pitcher Rudy Seanez (Brawley HS), joined the Padres in May 1983 via a trade with the Phillies for outfielder Joe Lefebvre. On June 19 of that season, in a game against the Astros at Jack Murphy Stadium, Monge collected the last of his two big-league hits.

Andy Hawkins started for San Diego but was chased in the fourth inning thanks to three unearned runs courtesy of a Steve Garvey error. Elias Sosa took over and the Padres pushed ahead. Monge replaced Sosa with one on and two out in the sixth to protect a 5-4 lead.

After retiring Terry Puhl to end the inning, Monge came to bat with one out in the bottom half and singled to left against the late Dave Smith. Luis Salazar followed with another single, but Alan Wiggins then lined to third, with Monge being picked off second for the inning-ending double play. Monge finished the contest and recorded his third save of the season.

In 60 games with the Padres, Monge went 9-4 with a 3.44 ERA (104 ERA+). He split ’84 with San Diego and Detroit before calling it a career. His final line was 49-40 with a 3.53 ERA (108 ERA+) and 56 saves in 435 appearances.

Since 1871, four pitchers have recorded at least 20 decisions in their NL career and finished with a winning percentage of .750 or higher: Al Spalding (48-12, .800, 1876-1877), Jocko Flynn (23-6, .793, 1886), Monge (19-5, .792, 1982-1984), and Howie Krist (37-11, .771, 1937-1946).

Now you know.

Colt Morton

Pos: C
Years: 2007-2008

10 16 2 1  0  0  0   1  2 5 .063 .158 .063 -36

Morton had tremendous raw power but never made consistent enough contact to use it, striking out in more than 25% of his minor-league plate appearances. Selected by the Padres in the third round of the 2003 draft out of North Carolina State (alma mater of San Diego’s 12th round pick in 1971, LHP Mike Caldwell), Morton knocked his lone big-league hit on May 8, 2008 in Atlanta. With one on and no out, he lined the first pitch he saw from left-hander Jo-Jo Reyes into left field for a single.

Morton made it as far as second base before being stranded. The Padres lost, 5-4, and Morton never played in the big leagues again. He spent parts of seven seasons in the minors, hitting .238/.332/.449 with 80 homers. His best showing came at Fort Wayne and Lake Elsinore in 2005, when he hit a combined .280/.376/.519 with 19 home runs.

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3 Responses »

  1. Good stuff Geoff. I was in Atlanta that day Colt got his first hit and — this might sound sad — I was happy for him (as much as a sportswriter can be) because I realized that this might be the ONLY hit he ever gets, given that he was filling in for an injured player and his career arc wasn’t considered to have a long Major League catching career at the end of it. Come to think of it, I might have felt the same way when Callix Crabbe got his first hit, too.

  2. When I think of Dan Miceli, I think of Donne Wall. And the thought of either leads me to Scott Linebrink.

    All were awesome. And then all were not.

  3. I was almost sure Colt Morton had a big hit against the Diamondbacks in an early season game in Phoenix. I went and looked it up, only to discover I was confusing him with Justin Huber.

    It’s hard to keep track of all the names that passed through in 2008.