Tommy Greene was the definition of a high school phenom, batting .490 while throwing 9 no-hitters. His pitching line included a strikeout rate of 19.6 per 9 innings with only a single earned run charged over the course of an entire year. This is the kind of performance that gets the attention of major league scouts, particularly the pitching-obsessed Atlanta Braves. The team drafted Greene as a first round pick and stowed him away for future use in case their Hall of Fame rotation ever broke down.
He made brief appearances with Atlanta but was soon traded to the Philadelphia Phillies as a throw-away pick in a multiplayer trade. He rode the bench for the first weeks of the 1991 season but changed everyone’s mind when an emergency spot start against the Expos turned into a no-hitter. From that point onward fans paid attention and he turned in a very respectable season.
An injury limited Greene’s follow-up 1992 campaign. By the time this Finest card was hitting hobby shop shelves in 1993 he had returned with a 1.87 ERA and an 8-0 record. He and Curt Schilling combined to lead the ’93 Phillies to the World Series. Schilling would go on to provide excellent performances while Greene was torched by Toronto’s offense. He still captured a World Series ring and his regular season contributions toward getting the team in position to even be in the Series show he deserved it.
Shoulder injuries quickly wore on him and his career was over after just a few more seasons. Lots of pitchers start out with promise only to be derailed by arm trouble. This one happened to bring his team a championship in the process.