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Billy Koch

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Title: Billy Koch  
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Subject: 2003 Chicago White Sox season, Bill Koch, Baseball players at the 1996 Summer Olympics, J. P. Ricciardi, Florida Marlins players
Collection: 1974 Births, Baseball Players at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Baseball Players from New York, Charlotte Knights Players, Chicago White Sox Players, Dunedin Blue Jays Players, Florida Marlins Players, Living People, Major League Baseball Pitchers, Medalists at the 1996 Summer Olympics, Oakland Athletics Players, Olympic Baseball Players of the United States, Olympic Bronze Medalists for the United States, Olympic Medalists in Baseball, People from Rockville Centre, New York, Syracuse Skychiefs Players, Toronto Blue Jays Players
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Billy Koch

Billy Koch
Relief pitcher
Born: (1974-12-14) December 14, 1974
Rockville Centre, New York
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
May 5, 1999, for the Toronto Blue Jays
Last MLB appearance
August 26, 2004, for the Florida Marlins
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 29–25
Earned run average 3.89
Strikeouts 357
Saves 163
Career highlights and awards
Billy Koch
Medal record
Competitor for  United States
Men's Baseball
Summer Olympics
1996 Atlanta Team

William (Billy) Koch (born December 14, 1974) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher. He entered the majors with the Toronto Blue Jays and most recently pitched for the Florida Marlins in 2004.


  • Baseball career 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Baseball career

Koch played college baseball for Clemson University from 1994 to 1996. He was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1st round (4th pick) of the 1996 amateur draft and made his debut in 1999. He made an instant impression by regularly registering 100 MPH on radar guns.

He was groomed for the role of closer, and had mixed success at the role over the next three seasons. While he was regarded as one of the most dominating pitchers in the league when he was at his best, at times he battled with his control and composure on the mound. Nevertheless, he continued to post improving save numbers (31, 33 & 36) from 1999 to 2001.

On December 7, 2001, the Blue Jays, now under new management, traded Koch to the Oakland Athletics for Eric Hinske and Justin Miller. The trade ended up working out for both teams, as Eric Hinske statistically outperformed Koch in his first season with the Jays[1] while Oakland proved to be a good fit for closer Koch. Billy saved 44 games in 2002 while posting a respectable 3.27 ERA and 93 strikeouts in only 9323 innings. Koch however gave up a critical ninth-inning home run to Minnesota's A. J. Pierzynski in the deciding game of the A's first-round playoff series. That outing would turn out to be the turning point in Koch's career; he later was quoted as saying that he felt like 'shooting himself' after that loss.

On December 3, 2002, he was once again traded, this time to the Chicago White Sox along with two minor leaguers for Keith Foulke, Mark Johnson, Joe Valentine and cash, but was unable to replicate the success he had experienced with Toronto or Oakland. Due to wild inconsistency on the mound, Jerry Manuel removed Koch from the role of closer, relegating him to middle relief. Billy finished the season with a disappointing 11 saves and a high 5.77 ERA.

His troubles continued in 2004. He was once again tried in the role of closer, but saved only 8 games in 24 games played, compiling an ERA of 5.40. He was traded to the

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or The Baseball Cube

External links

  1. ^ "Statistical breakdown of the Koch/Hinske trade". 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Billy Koch Statistics – The Baseball Cube
  4. ^ Rays: More long-term deals possible


See also

During Toronto's 2nd game of the season at Tampa Bay, Koch showed up at the game wearing an Aubrey Huff jersey, at the time a Devil Rays slugger. He joked with the Toronto bullpen crew, heckling the Blue Jays and calling one of the pitchers a "bum". He then announced that he planned to take 240 students from his children's Tampa area grade school to the game and have them hold up a sign saying 'Go Devil Rays'.[4]

Following the 2004 season he was signed to a 1-year contract by his original team, the Toronto Blue Jays, but the team released him during spring training and an angry Koch announced he would not attempt to sign with another team, so that the Blue Jays would be on the hook for 'every penny' of his $950,000 salary. He has not played baseball professionally since then.[3]

) caused him to miss the last month of the regular season, and Florida released him at the end of the season. [2]

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