Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Final Card: Jon Warden
Jon Warden (#632) only pitched 1 season in the major leagues – for the World Champion Tigers in 1968.
Warden was signed by the Tigers in 1966, and pitched in their farm system for 2 seasons, mostly as a starter.
Jon made the Tigers’ squad at the start of the 1968 season, and was converted to a reliever. Until veterans Don McMahon and John Wyatt were acquired in mid-season, the Tigers’ bullpen was mostly rookies and 2nd-year men.
Warden appeared in 28 games for Detroit, posting a 4-1 record. He was with the Tigers for the entire season, save for National Guard assignments.
He only pitched once after August, as the team was battling for the AL title. With so many relievers (including the veterans), management tried to hide him from the Kansas City and Seattle scouts, fearing he would be lost in the upcoming draft. The Tigers won the World Series, but their stashing of Warden backfired, as he was selected by the Royals in the expansion draft.
An injury during spring training 1969 set him back, and he played all of 1969-70 for the Royals’ AAA team.
Warden moved on to the Brewers' and Cardinals’ organizations in 1971, but never made it back to the majors. Retiring after the 1971 season, he attempted a comeback with the White Sox in 1974 but did not make the team.
Since his playing career he has been a high school teacher and baseball coach, and a frequent attendee at the Tigers’ fantasy baseball camp.