By Ross Forman
Brad Peacock has been a major league pitcher since breaking in with Washington in 2011, as both a starter and, of late, a reliever.
Mostly because he couldn’t hit.
The story drops back to the early-2000s, while playing at Palm Beach Central High School in Wellington, Florida. Peacock was the school’s third baseman, with a good arm and great glove. And, there was no one else to play third.
“I couldn’t hit too well, so one day I asked my coach if I could pitch,” Peacock recalled.
As a senior, Peacock was allowed to close out a few games.
Peacock eventually landed at Palm Beach Community College, where he had an 8-0 record as a starting pitcher.
The Washington Nationals selected Peacock in the 41st round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft.
Peacock landed in the major leagues in 2011, starting two of the three games he appeared in that season. He went 2-0 with an 0.75 ERA in 12 innings pitched.
Peacock was back in the big leagues, with the Houston Astros, in 2013, compiling a 5-6 record in 14 starts.
He had a career-high 24 starts in 2014, finishing with a 4-9 record.
Peacock appeared in a career-high 34 games in 2017, with 21 as a starter.
He also has a home in the bullpen.
“Being a starter, you basically have a set routine as you know when you’re going to pitch, (basically), every fifth day. But coming out of the bullpen, you don’t get that (set schedule). You basically have to be ready every day,” Peacock said. “I like both, (being a starter and a reliever). My dream is just to be in the major leagues, so whatever they tell me to do, I’m happy with.”
Peacock began the 2017 campaign as a reliever, but was thrust into a spot start on May 22 in place of the injured Dallas Keuchel. He shined in that start and landed in the starting rotation.
In the 2017 World Series, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Peacock earned his first major league save in Game 3. And what a save it was. He pitched the final 3 2⁄3 innings of a 5−3 win, allowing no hits and striking out four, marking the longest hitless relief outing since Ron Taylor’s four innings in Game 4 of the 1964 World Series, and tied Ken Clay for the longest hitless postseason save, first accomplished in the 1978 American League Championship Series (ALCS).
“The (World Series) ring … yeah, that’s something special,” Peacock said. “It was a crazy year for me in 2017. I went into spring training not even knowing if I was going to make the team. At the end of the season, I was playing for a World Series-winning team. It was amazing. Things just worked for me last year.”
Peacock said his favorite Series moment was just being on the field, celebrating, at Dodgers Stadium – with family members, too.
“That definitely was a lot of fun,” he said.
The 2017 Astros were a fun team, that’s for sure. A talent-rich team that featured Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Jose Altuve, George Springer and others.
So who does Peacock enjoy watching from the mighty Astros?
He said it is easy to answer that question, “Altuve.”
“Somehow, he gets better every day,” Peacock said. “He’s someone special to watch.”
Peacock’s paper trail dates back to 2008, when he appeared on a Bowman Chrome – Prospects card. Since then, he has appeared on major and minor league cards from Leaf, Topps and other makers.
“There’s one early card where I look like I’m 12 years-old. It’s actually one of my favorites, and my dad’s favorite, too,” said Peacock, who added that his dad, a retired West Palm Beach policeman, has saved all of his son’s cards over the years.
“I started a collection myself a few years ago; I’ve asked guys to sign things for me … and I have a pretty good collection. It’s a lot of fun,” Peacock said.
His collection of autographs includes baseballs from Derek Jeter and others. He also has a signed jersey from Mariano Rivera and even a Tom Brady-signed football, “which is pretty cool,” he said. Peacock scored the Brady ball in a silent auction.
Peacock has participated in autograph signings at sports show, like Tristar’s show in Houston.
“I definitely am going to walk around (the show) after I’m done signing, probably buy some things,” he said.“I saw some cool things, things that you don’t see every day, such as a Mickey Mantle-signed baseball.”
He said he’d like to add a Babe Ruth signature to his collection.
“That definitely would be a cool piece to have,” he said.
Ross Forman is a freelance contributor to Sports Collectors Digest. He can be reached at Rossco814@aol.com.