Calvin Ross Chipperfield
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 170 lb.
- School Mount San Antonio College
Calvin Chipperfield peaked at AA.
Chipperfield allowed three runs in six innings for the 1996-1997 Adelaide Giants of the Australian Baseball League. He went to play college baseball in the US. The Detroit Tigers picked him in the 14th round of the 1998 amateur draft, one round after Laz Gutierrez. He was 3-2 with a 3.10 ERA in his minor league debut with the GCL Tigers, whiffing 69 in 52 1/3 IP. He tied Jose Nunez for second in the Gulf Coast League in Ks, behind Jairo Pineda. The next summer was similar: 4-4, 3.28 for the Oneonta Tigers with 83 K in 79 2/3 IP. He tied for 7th in the New York-Penn League in strikeouts. He was 0-2 with a save and a 6.75 ERA for South Australia in the 1999-2000 International Baseball League of Australia.
He peaked in 2000 with the West Michigan Whitecaps, going 12-3 with a 2.13 ERA, 151 strikeouts and a .186 opponent average. He no-hit the Kane County Cougars just three days after teammate Tommy Marx had done so. He finished first in the Midwest League in ERA (.32 ahead of Andy Van Hekken, also of West Michigan), tied J.J. Putz for 6th in wins, tied Gary Majewski for the most shutouts (3) and was 6th in strikeouts; he was named the MWL All-Star right-handed pitcher while Van Hekken took the lefty honors. Baseball America rated him as having the best breaking pitch in the MWL. Among Tiger farmhands, he tied Shane Loux for second in wins behind Van Hekken, led in ERA and was third in strikeouts behind Van Hekken and Loux. He was named Detroit's Minor League Pitcher of the Year. In the affiliated minors, he had a better ERA than anyone else, .08 ahead of runner-up Roy Oswalt. He also had the third-lowest opponent average, behind only Nick Neugebauer and Christian Parra.
Things were not as good in 2001 with the Lakeland Tigers. He went 7-8 with a 4.79 ERA and 81 walks in 124 innings while allowing over a hit per inning, a far cry from 2000. He led the Florida State League in walks by 3 over Marx and led Tigers farmhands in free passes. With South Australia in the 2002 Claxton Shield, he struggled in his lone outing, with 6 wild pitches, 3 walks, 3 hit batsmen and 5 runs in 5 innings (though he fanned 8). He ended his US career in 2002 with Lakeland (9-10, 3.29, 74 BB, 114 K in 126 IP) and the Erie SeaWolves (0-1, 5 BB, 3 R in 4 2/3 IP). He was 9th in the FSL in ERA (between Ken Holubec and Taylor Buchholz), tied for 3rd in losses, 3rd in walks (behind Marx and Keith Bucktrot) and 8th in strikeouts. He tied for third in the Tigers chain in losses, was second to Marx in walks and tied Jason Beverlin and Chad Petty for third in whiffs. He allowed only two runs (one earned) in the 2003 Claxton Shield. He then pitched for the Australian national team in the 2003 Oceania Championship.
Overall, he had gone 35-28 with a 3.33 ERA in 103 games (94 starts) in the minors, striking out 531 and walking 282 in 530 1/3 IP while allowing 428 hits. In Australia, he was 0-3 with a save and a 4.94 ERA in 11 games.