Friday, May 16, 2014

#216 Mark Leiter

About the Front: Now that's an interesting windup. Both of Mark Leiter's arms as well as his left leg are parallel to each other, at a 45 degree angle to the field.
About the Back: Wow. How often does a pitcher miss three entire seasons of minor league ball and come back to have a long major league career? Two shoulder surgeries in the mid-1980s were the culprit for Leiter.

Triple Play:

1. His younger brother Al pitched for the Yankees, Blue Jays, Marlins, and Mets from 1987 through 2005. Mark Leiter, Jr. was a 22nd-round draft pick of the Phillies last June and is currently pitching for the Lakewood BlueClaws in the single-A South Atlantic League.

2. His best season in the majors was 1998, when he appeared in 69 games as a reliever for the Phillies, who had been his favorite team as a child. Leiter went 7-5 with a 3.55 ERA and a team-high 23 saves, just one year after leading the National League with 17 losses.

3. Mark currently offers private coaching to young pitchers.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: In April 1994, Mark's nine-month-old son Ryan died of Werdnig-Hoffmann disease, a childhood form of ALS. It's an incredibly sad thing that's always stuck with me when Leiter's name is mentioned.

Bill James Said: "Righthander, throws fastball with good movement, slider, and changeup."

On This Date in 1993: May 16. The Grand National Assembly of Turkey chooses Prime Minister Suleyman Demirel as the country's new president.

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