Lafayette Drillers Flashback: Tony Gonzalez
The Lafayette Drillers, a Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants, called Lafayette, Louisiana their home for two years, from 1975-1976.
The Drillers, who played their home games at Clark Field, were co-champions of the Texas League in 1975 with the Midland Cubs, finishing 72-57, before going 58-76 in 1976, the last year of affiliated professional baseball in Lafayette.
A number of outstanding players, who eventually made it into Major League Baseball ranks played at Clark Field in 1975 & 1976, including five former Lafayette Driller players.
All summer long, we’re taking a look back at some of the former players for the Drillers.
Today, pitcher Tony Gonzalez:
Gonzalez was a pitcher, primarily a starter, for the Drillers during the 1976 season.
Signed as an undrafted free agent at the age of 17 by the St. Louis Cardinals, Gonzalez began his professional career in 1971, before moving on to the San Francisco Giants’ organization in 1975.
The 6-foot-1, 155-pound Gonzalez, a left-hander, made a minor league stops in St. Petersburg, Florida, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Little Rock, Arkansas, before joining the Drillers in 1976 at the age of 22.
With Lafayette, Gonzalez pitched in 22 games in ’76, 15 as a starter, going 4-7 with a 6.06 earned run average.
In 89 innings pitched, Gonzalez allowed 115 hits, 60 earned runs, and 39 walks, while striking out 44 hitters.
After his one-year stint in Lafayette, Gonzalez pitched one more year of professional baseball, in the Cleveland Indians’ organization, making stops in Jersey City, New Jersey and Toledo, Ohio, before retiring after the 1977 season.
In seven minor league seasons, Gonzalez compiled an overall record of 39-47, along with one save, and a 3.91 ERA. over 160 appearances.