Tommy Greene was selected 14th overall by the Atlanta Braves in the 1985 MLB draft. Like most that are drafted to the Majors, Greene was just 18 years of age with a high school diploma and a dream. After a little over 4 years in the minor leagues, Greene made his MLB debut with the Braves in 1989. Between the debut in ’89 and the middle of the 1990 season Greene would only start 6 games for the Braves as he was considered one of the odd men out in the beginnings of what would become one of the best pitching staffs in MLB history by the mid-90’s.
On August 3, 1990 the Braves would send Dale Murphy and a player to be named later to the Phillies for Jeff Parrett, Jim Vatcher, and Victor Rosario. That player to be named later would be announced on August 8th as Tommy Greene. Over the rest of that season Greene would go on to make 7 starts and 10 relief appearances. While he only wound up with a 2-3 record, Greene had some promising moments. By the start of the 1991 season Greene was the second man on the Phillies starting staff. While the Phillies would only finish third in the division and miss the playoffs, Greene pitched well starting in 27 of his 36 appearances with an ERA just over 3.00 and more than 200 innings pitched. Greene would finish the ’91 season with a record of 13 wins and 7 losses.
Following an uneventful 1992 season that saw the Phillies finish in last; the 1993 season didn’t come with many expectations. One of the few bright spots of the ’92 season was the Phillies acquiring young upstart starting pitcher Curt Schilling. Schilling was another work horse starter who could strike people out. Along with Schilling the Phillies added veteran pitcher Danny Jackson and maintained a solid back end of the bullpen that included Larry Andersen, David West and Mitch Williams.
While Greene entered the season as the 3rd (arguably even the 4th) starter in the rotation it didn’t take long for him to establish him self as a top arm on the staff. As the Phillies became a “Cinderella” story, Tommy Greene was having a career year. While his ERA was still hovering around the mid-threes and he wasn’t always the most accurate (throwing a career high 15 wild pitches), Greene threw 200 innings for only the second time in his career. Over that 200 innings he had a career highs with 167 strikeouts, 7 complete games and tied his career high in shutouts with two. By the end of the season Greene finished with a 16 and 4 record and was 6th in Cy Young votes.
Greene would go on to play 2 more seasons with the Phillies and finish his career with the Houston Astros in 1997. While none were as special as the 1993 season, Tommy Greene enjoyed an 8-year MLB career.
If you would like to learn more about Tommy Greene and the 1993 Philles be sure to read Macho Row: The 1993 Philles and Baseballs Unwritten Code by William Kashatus and join Phillies Nation on Monday October 30th for our first Book Club meeting. Tommy Greene will be one of the panelists at the event on the campus of Holy Family University. RSVP now on the Phillies Nation Facebook Page and for more information check out the article below!