We continue our look at the top 100 Colorado Rockies of all time in this article. Here, we look at No. 39 on our list, Marvin Freeman.
The 6-foot-7 180 pound “Starvin Marvin” Freeman was anything but when it came to jokes and eating a steady diet of flaming fastballs. As far as personality is concerned, Freeman kept up with any of his teammates like Greg Maddux. More importantly Freeman learned from the best pitching staff maybe baseball has ever seen led by Maddux, Tom Glavine and John Smoltz.
Freeman started his career in 1986 in Philadelphia where he played very sparingly and moved to Atlanta in 1990 just in time for the domination. In 1991 he had his best season for the club where he had a 2.92 ERA in 34 games mostly coming out of the bullpen. While still posting good numbers, he was slowed by elbow injuries in the next seasons and was let go in 1993.
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What a treasure Freeman was when the Rockies picked him up before the 1994 season. To this day Freeman has one of the best seasons for any Rockies pitcher. It is easily the best season pitched at the original Mile High Stadium.
The Rockies signed Freeman to be one of their relievers but out of necessity he became a starter. Freeman only made one relief appearance and he never looked back. he went 10-2 starting 18 games with 1.8 walks per nine innings and to top it all off a 2.80 ERA. This is still the best ERA for a starting pitcher in Rockies history. This was all good enough for a 4.5 WAR. Freeman talked about his success in Colorado in 1994 with the Atlantic Journal Constitution.
"I tried to take everything I learned from Greg Maddux to Colorado and be a carbon copy of him. I would say it worked and I think my ERA still stands as a record there."
The only thing that could stop Freeman was the strike of the 1994 season. Unfortunately this shut down Freeman’s momentum. In 1995 his injuries to his elbow came back and he did not pitch with the club’s first postseason. He was healthy in 1996 but his numbers weren’t there and he was released. He then played for his home-town team the Chicago White Sox.
As of 2016, Freeman still lives in Chicago where he teachers young pitchers and is the pitching coordinator for the Chicago White Sox Charities.
While he seemingly did the impossible by pitching well in Mile High Stadium, his personality stills shines brightest. Catch a glimpse of one of the best Rockies pitchers of all time here, as he sums his own career.