Lockwood was signed as an ameteur free agent in by the Kansas City Athletics in 1964. Ten years earlier, Lockwood would have been called a "bonus baby" as the contract he signed with Kansas City required him to stay on the big league roster for the entire 1965 season. At the time, Lockwood was just 18. And, um... he was a third baseman. During the whole season, he managed to get in just 42 games for the Athletics, going 4-33 with 4 RS and 7 BB. He was sent down to the minors for the 1966 season, and struggled to hit from 1966-1968. He dabbled with the thought of pitching, getting into a game in 1966 and another 4 in 1967. After the 1967 season, he was taken in the rule 5 draft by the Houston Astros. He failed to make the team, so he was sent back to what was then called the Oakland Athletics. He made the transition to becoming a full time pitcher in 1968. After the 1968 season, he was taken by the Seattle Pilots in the 1968 expansion draft.
Still only 22, but well traveled, Lockwood pitched in 6 games (3 starts) for the original (and only) Seattle Pilots team. After the Pilots moved to Milwaukee for the 1970 season, he became a regular starting pitcher for the team. 1970 saw Lockwood go 5-12, 4.30 in 27 games, 26 starts. He would lose 15 games each of the next two seasons, before he pitched in 37 games, making 12 starts for the 1973 Brewers- a season in which he lost 12 more games. After the 1973 season, Lockwood was traded to the California Angels in a 9 player trade which included Clyde Wright. The 1974 season was the first that Lockwood had pitched almost solely as a reliever. He was 2-5, 4.32 in 37 games, 5 starts pitching mostly mop up.
The following offseason, Lockwood was traded again: this time to the New York Yankees. However, he did not make the team out of spring training and was released. A week later, he signed back with the Oakland Athletics, who signed him to a AAA contract and were interested in using him as a starting pitcher again. He made 9 starts, but struggled. As a demotion, Lockwood was taken out of the Tucson Toros rotation and put into the bullpen. This was the best thing to ever happen to him. Relieving allowed him to regain a little zip on his fastball and he started to strike out hitters at a rate of almost a batter an inning. He had never approached that strikeout rate before.
With little to no room on the MLB roster, the Athletics were struck in a difficult spot. Rather than give Lockwood his release, his contract was sold to the New York Mets and after 3 appearances for the Tidewater Tides of the International League, he was in the big leagues for the Mets. And he did not disappoint, going 1-3, 1.49 in 24 games, striking out 61 batters in 48 1/3 IP. 1976 was his best season, as he went 10-7, 2.67 in 56 games, picking up 19 saves and striking out 108 batters in 94 1/3 innings. He was decent in 1977 (4-8, 3.38, 20 saves, 63 games, 84 Ks) and 1978 (7-13, 3.57, 15, 57, 73) before experiencing some arm problems during the 1979 season. While he was healthy (2-5, 1.49, 9 saves in 27 games), he was very good. He filed for free agency after 1979.
Gaining a reputation as a solid late game reliever, Lockwood signed a two year, $775 K contract with the Boston Red Sox. His arm was shot, though, and this was something the Red Sox were aware was a possibility. The 1980 season saw Lockwood pitch in just 24 games and have an ERA over 5.00 for the only time in his big league career. He was released before the 1981 season and attempted a comeback with the Denver Bears of the American Association (AAA) for the Montreal Expos. He struggled down there as well (an ERA of 5.10 in 24 games), and he called it quits shortly thereafter. His wife wrote a book about being a baseball wife.
Lockwood was one of the few consistent players for the Mets in those difficult seasons of the late 1970s. He went to being a star 3B prospect when he signed with Kansas City, to a decent starter with the Milwaukee Brewers to a top closer with the New York Mets. What stands out to me is how he was almost out of baseball when he started relieving for the Mets and how he could have been close when it did not work out for him as a position player. His story shows the determination he needed to be able to deal with the baseball obstacles he had in front of him.