Tuesday, May 20, 2014
#218 Ben McDonald
1. His superlatives in 1989, when he won the Golden Spikes Award (best collegiate baseball player): 14-4, 3.49 ERA, 202 strikeouts in 152 innings pitched, and a season-opening 44 and 2/3 inning scoreless streak.
2. Ben made his first big league start on July 21, 1990, shutting out the White Sox on four hits and a walk and outdueling Jack McDowell.
3. McDonald now works as a TV analyst for ESPN's college baseball broadcasts, and also occasionally fills in on Orioles' TV and radio broadcasts.
11-Year-Old Kevin Says: When Ben started the 1994 season by winning each of his first seven starts, I was sure he'd made a breakthrough. Of course he went 7-7 with a 4.56 ERA for the duration of the season. Oh well.
Bill James Said: "His strikeout rates, since his brief trial in '89: 3.7 per nine innings, 4.9, 6.1, 6.3, 7.0."
On This Date in 1993: May 20. The fourth-season finale of Seinfeld airs on NBC, wrapping up the season-long story arc of Jerry and George's television pilot for "a show about nothing". The pilot makes it to air, but the (fictional) NBC executives reject the show.