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Ex-Dodger Tim Belcher is the new pitching coach for the Indians

November 6, 2009 |  2:12 pm

Tim belcher1
The Indians' new pitching coach is a familiar face for Dodgers fans who followed the team 20 years ago, or for Angels fans 10 years ago.

Ohio native Tim Belcher, now 48, has been hired to handle Cleveland's pitching staff for new manager Manny Acta. He has been a special assistant in Cleveland's baseball operations for the last eight seasons, which included working with the club's pitching prospects and doing some scouting.

Belcher began his major league career with the Dodgers in 1987 and in his last season with them, in 1991, he was 10-9 with a 2.62 earned-run average in 33 starts. He was traded to the Reds that winter in a deal that also gave the Reds reliever John Wetteland and sent outfielder Eric Davis and pitcher Kip Gross to the Dodgers.

On July 21, 1990, Belcher had a night to remember. Facing the minimum 27 hitters, he allowed the Pittsburgh Pirates one hit and two baserunners in leading the Dodgers to a 6-0 victory at Three Rivers Stadium.

He was the No. 1 pick in the 1983 draft and went on to play 14 distinguished seasons for six teams, ending with the Angels. He decided to retire in March 2001. Here is what he told The Times' Mike DiGiovanna then:

"My last two starts, I had a few guys 0-2, and they fouled off two or three of my maximum-effort pitches like it was nothing," Belcher said. "No offense to the guys we were playing, but it wasn't like it was Tony Gwynn up there. Once you lose the ability to put guys away, you know it's time. ... Age and injuries catch up to you. I ran out of bullets."

One thing for sure, when he was free of injury, he was a very, very good pitcher.

-- Debbie Goffa

Photo: Ah, the memories. Chan Ho Park, left, then with the Dodgers, and Tim Belcher, then with the Angels, square off after Belcher tagged Park out on a sacrifice bunt in a game in 1999 at Dodger Stadium. Both benches cleared as Park and Belcher squared off. Park was ejected from the game. Credit: Associated Press