Oh, What a Relief: Wes Stock
Wes Stock’s career as a major league pitching coach lasted more than twice as long as his career as a player, but he was a consistently effective reliever for the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Athletics between 1961 and 1966.
The lanky Stock was signed out of Washington State University in 1956 by the Orioles. He had an outstanding first professional season, going 14-6 for Aberdeen in the Northern League. His development was suspended for 2 years of military service, and over the next two seasons he made limited appearances with Baltimore, posting a combined record of 2-2 with three saves in 24 appearances.
Stock made the Orioles roster for keeps in 1961, going 5-0 in 35 appearances with a 3.01 ERA. He appeared in exactly 100 games for the Orioles over the next two seasons, for a combined record of 10-2 with four saves and a 4.17 ERA.
In June of 1964, the Orioles traded Stock to the Athletics for catcher Charlie Lau. The bullpen was one of the few strengths of the cellar-dwelling A’s of 1964, as Stock joined Moe Drabowsky and Ted Bowsfield as set-up pitchers for A’s closer John Wyatt.
Stock had an excellent remainder of the 1964 for Kansas City. He appeared in 50 games in a little more than 3 months remaining in the season, posting a 1.94 ERA with a 6-3 record and 5 saves. Overall, 1964 was his best season, with a combined 8-3 record and 2.30 ERA for the Orioles and Athletics.
The 1965 season was not as kind to Stock, whose record fell to 0-4 with a 5.24 ERA in 62 appearances. He appeared in only 35 games in 1966, going 2-2 with a 2.66 ERA. He retired after one appearance in 1967, and afterward enjoyed a two-decade career as one of the game’s most respected pitching coaches.