George Frazier is trying to put his three World Series losses in perspective. The New York Yankees reserve spoke to the media after being accused of losing Games 3, 4 and 6 of the 1981 World Series. “How many players are allowed to play in the World Series?” Frazier asked reporters. Then he goes one step further. “How many guys can play in the majors anyway? I tried my best. I’m not ashamed. If I was in St. Louis, I’d be fishing in the World Series instead of pitching.”
Frazier was originally signed by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976 and traded to the St. Louis Cardinals for catcher Buck Martinez. On June 7, 1981, before the baseball strike, the Cardinals sent Frazier to the Yankees to complete a deal in which the Yankees sent Cardinals shortstop Rafael Santana. Martinez had a successful career as a receiver, manager and announcer, while Santana was shortstop for the 1986 New York Mets.
Yankees catcher Rick Cerrone claimed Frazier played well in his loss. “He’s lost three games and they haven’t hit a single hard shot out of him yet.” Fraser agreed, but conceded that Pedro Guerrero’s two-run three-pointer was hit hard. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a single bad shot in the World Series. Only one hit hard, and that was a 3-pointer by Guerrero. I lost. That’s history. Spring training is two and a half months away. I can’t wait to go there.”
What’s fascinating is how each of us sees things the way we want to. In three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Frazier threw three and two-thirds of the innings, allowing seven runs on nine hits, three walks and two outs. He has an ERA of 17.18 and a WHIP of 3.27.
Frazier played in spring training with the Yankees in 1982. He had a solid season, winning four games and losing four, with a 3.47 ERA and a 115+ ERA as the Yankees failed to repeat the AFC title. On February 5, 1984, the Yankees traded Frazier and a young Otis Nixon to the Cleveland Indians for shortstop Toby Haras.
Frazier was little more than an assistant pitcher, and his career ended after the 1987 season at age 32. He finished 35-43 with a 4.20 ERA, 96 ERA+ and 1.47 WHIP.