Kirkwood pitched for three teams between 1974-1978, going 18-23 with eight saves and a 4.37 ERA. He appeared in 44 games for the California Angels in 1975, which would be the best year of his career. Pitching almost exclusively out of the bullpen, Kirkwood won six games and saved seven more while finishing 27 games for the Halos. His 3.11 ERA was the lowest of his career. California tried to turn him into a starter in 1976 and it did not work out at all. He made 26 starts, lost 12 games and saw his ERA balloon to 4.62. He returned to the bullpen in 1977 but could never regain his form from 1975. Kirkwood bounced to the Chicago White Sox and Toronto Blue Jays, which is where his professional career ended in 1978.
Kirkwood’s big-league debut came on September 13, 1974 in Chicago against the White Sox. He pitched 2 and 1/3 innings, striking out two and allowing four runs. The Angels lost the game 8-0.
We featured his favorite teammate Frank Tanana in June of last year.
Don Kirkwood – career stats