|Intro||American baseball player|
|A.K.A.||Matthew Lon "Matt" Keough|
|Was||Athlete Baseball player|
|From||United States of America|
|Birth||3 July 1955, Pomona, USA|
|Death||1 May 2020 (aged 64 years)|
Matthew Lon Keough /ˈkiːoʊ/ (July 3, 1955 – May 2, 2020) was an American professional baseball player. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as a right-handed pitcher for the Oakland Athletics (1977–1983), New York Yankees (1983–1984), St. Louis Cardinals (1985), Chicago Cubs (1986) and Houston Astros (1986) from 1977 through 1986. He then pitched for the Hanshin Tigers in the Japanese professional baseball league from 1987 through 1991. Keough batted and threw right-handed. He was drafted by the Oakland A's out of Corona del Mar High School in 1973.
In a nine-season career, Keough posted a 58-84 record with 590 strikeouts and a 4.17 ERA in 1190 innings pitched, including seven shutouts and 57 complete games.
Keough was signed by Oakland as an infielder. He was supposed to replace departed Sal Bando at third base, but after leading the California league in hitting while playing for Modesto in his second year of professional baseball in 1975, he hit a disappointing .210 in Double-A in 1976. He was converted to a pitcher and joined Oakland a year later. He was selected to the All-Star Game in his rookie season for the 1978 Athletics, recording a 3.24 ERA despite his 8-15 mark. In 1979, he tied a major league record by losing his first 14 decisions and finished with a 2-17 record. His winning percentage of .105 was the worst recorded by a major league pitcher with 15 or more decisions since 1916, when Philadelphia A's teammates Jack Nabors and Tom Sheehan finished the season with winning percentages of .048 and .059, respectively. From 1978–79, Keough made 28 consecutive starts without a victory, tying Cliff Curtis (1910–11) for the longest streak in MLB history according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The streak was later tied by Jo-Jo Reyes (2008–11).
But Keough resurged in 1980 with a 16-13 mark, earning AL Comeback Player of the Year honors. In the 1981 strike-shortened season he finished 10-6, helping Oakland to clinch the AL Division Series. He pitched well in a losing effort in Game Three of the AL Championship Series, giving up one earned run in 8-1/3 innings in a game won by the New York Yankees 4–0. Keough slumped again in 1982, tying for the AL lead with 18 losses against 11 wins in 34 starts. He also walked more batters than he struck out (101-to-75) and led the league in home runs (38) and earned runs (133) allowed.
In the 1983 mid-season Keough was traded to the New York Yankees. Nursing a sore arm, he spent parts of two seasons in the minors and returned to the majors with the St. Louis Cardinals late in 1985. The next year, he divided his playing time between Triple-A, the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs. In 1987 he joined the Hanshin Tigers in Japan and pitched for them until 1990. He attempted a comeback to the major leagues with the Anaheim Angels in 1991 spring training but did not make the roster. In March 1992, he tried again with the Angels, and had made the major league roster but while sitting in the dugout during an exhibition game in which he was scheduled to pitch later in the game, he was hit in the right temple by a foul ball off the bat of San Francisco Giants' John Patterson, seriously injuring him and ending his playing career.
Following his playing career, Keough worked for the A's and Angels both as a roving pitching coach and as an executive from 1992 to 1999. After that, he scouted for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and was again an executive for the Oakland Athletics.
Keough would occasionally throw a spitball. One time, however, his spitball backfired on him. Keough threw a spitball that Boston Red Sox second baseman Jerry Remy missed completely and had seemingly struck out. The umpire, seeing the tremendous break on the pitch, assumed Remy had fouled off the pitch and so he remained at bat with two strikes. On the next pitch, Remy hit a home run, the last of his career.
Keough was married to actress and November 1980 Playboy Playmate of the month, Jeana Tomasina in 1984 but they later separated. The two appeared on reality television when she became one of the Real Housewives of Orange County. The couple had three children: Shane, Kara and Colton. Their oldest son, Shane is a third-generation professional baseball player, having signed as a minor league outfielder in June 2006 with the Class A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics. Keough was released on July 2, 2010. Daughter Kara married NFL Player Kyle Bosworth.
Matt Keough died on May 2, 2020 at the age of 64.