Saturday, January 17, 2015

Tom Fordham went to my high school (Guys from Granite)

There have been 7 graduates from my high school to play in the major leagues (Granite Hills High School in El Cajon, California representing!) I've managed to obtain at least a couple cards from them all. I'm tipping my cap to each of them in this recurring Guys From Granite series. We're counting them down in ascending order by career games played, working our way to the most successful GHHS Eagle. This is part 4 of 7.

Tom Fordham

Tom Fordham has the distinction of being the only graduate from Granite to ever pitch in the major leagues. Like many GHHS grads (myself included), Tom spent "13th grade" at Grossmont College, a local community college, which I've previously talked about more in recent posts about Chris Jones and Mike Jacobs. Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 11th round of the 1993 amateur draft, Tom worked his way up through the minors (highlighted by going 15-3 with a 2.70 ERA in 1995) and cracked the majors in 1997, pitching in 7 games near the season's end. His debut was a start against another rookie, Toronto's Chris Carpenter. It would be Carpenter's first win ever, in a career that included a Cy Young Award and 2 World Championships. Tom Fordham's path, of course, would not be quite as filled with glory.

But hey, he did go on to pitch 29 more games for the White Sox in 1998. Tom was back in AAA the following year, without much success. After a couple decent years on the Brewers AAA club, he missed all of 2002 with an injury. He tried to mount a comeback in 2003 with the Pirates organization, but was out of baseball after that. His lifetime MLB record is 1-3 with a 6.61 ERA in 36 games, 6 of them starts.

Looks like he's still living in El Cajon, doing well with a couple kids of his own now.
(via Facebook)
Tom graduated the year before I got to Granite, so I just missed being schoolmates with the guy. I wasn't familiar with him till I started looking into baseball players that went to my school, but it's pretty cool he pitched in three dozen big league games.


There are several Tom Fordham cards out there-- 34 according to Beckett-- highlighted by a few from Bowman and Upper Deck. Here's what I got:

o 1993 Sarasota White Sox Fleer/ProCards #1362 Tom Fordham
o 1994 Hickory Crawdads Classic #10 Tom Fordham
o 1994 Hickory Crawdads Fleer/ProCards #2171 Tom Fordham
o 1994 South Atlantic League All-Stars Fleer/ProCards #SAL21 Tom Fordham
x 1995 Best #13 Tom Fordham
x 1995 Bowman's Best #B79 Tom Fordham
o 1995 Bowman's Best Refractors #B79 Tom Fordham
o 1995 Prince William Cannons Team Issue #18 Tom Fordham
x 1995 SP Top Prospects #37 Tom Fordham
x 1996 Best Autographs #20 Tom Fordham [auto]
o 1996 Birmingham Barons Best #13 Tom Fordham
x 1996 Bowman #292 Tom Fordham
x 1996 Bowman Foil #292 Tom Fordham
x 1996 Excel #32 Tom Fordham
x 1997 Best Autographs Autograph Series #13 Tom Fordham [auto]
o 1997 Best Autographs Prospect Series #R5 Tom Fordham [auto]
x 1997 Bowman #117 Tom Fordham
x 1997 Bowman International #117 Tom Fordham
o 1997 Bowman Certified Black Ink Autographs #CA26 Tom Fordham [auto]
x 1997 Bowman Certified Blue Ink Autographs #CA26 Tom Fordham [auto]
o 1997 Bowman Certified Gold Ink Autographs #CA26 Tom Fordham [auto]
x 1998 Collector's Choice #114 Tom Fordham
o 1998 Pacific Omega Rising Stars #14 Mike Caruso/Jeff Abbott/Tom Fordham
o 1998 Pacific Omega Rising Stars Tier 4 #14 Caruso/Abbott/Fordham [#'d /25]
x 1998 Pacific Online #169 Tom Fordham
o 1998 Pacific Online Red #169 Tom Fordham
o 1998 Pacific Online Web Cards #169 Tom Fordham
o 1998 Pacific Online Winners #169 Tom Fordham
o 1998 Prince William Cannons Anniversary Set Multi-Ad #12 Tom Fordham
x 1998 Upper Deck #288 Tom Fordham
o 1999 Charlotte Knights Blueline #8 Tom Fordham
o 2000 Indianapolis Indians Q-Cards/Blueline #13 Tom Fordham
o 2001 Indianapolis Indians Choice #9 Tom Fordham
o 2003 Altoona Curve Update Grandstand #5 Tom Fordham

If you have any cards of this guy I need, feel free to get in touch with me about a trade. Thanks!


Fordham had several certified autograph cards put out, three of which I've gotten (above).

Next up on the countdown is the only Granite Hills Eagle to ever win a World Series. Stay tuned.

Guys From Granite countdown
8. Preface (minor leaguers)
7. Mike Reinbach
6. John Barnes
5. Chris Jones
4. Tom Fordham
3. (coming soon)
2. (coming soon)
1. (coming soon)

1 comment:

  1. That is cool he made some starts at the big league level. So hard to crack the majors when you don't have the "prospect" status.