Thursday, December 18, 2014

#344 Jack McDowell

About the Front: The White Sox really do have some of the best cards in this set. Here, Jack McDowell celebrates with Robin Ventura and Carlton Fisk at the end of the game. This game was most likely the August 23, 1992 contest between Chicago and Kansas City. McDowell held the Royals to one run, a George Brett solo homer, and won 3-1. Ventura also homered and hit a double.

About the Back: You couldn't mention Jack McDowell in the mid-90s without referring to his rock star stylings. Wayne Edwards was a reliever with the Pale Hose from 1989 through 1991, and Lee Plemel was a Stanford teammate of McDowell's. Plemel was the Cardinals' fifth-round pick in 1988, but never made it past AA.

Triple Play:

1. Jack was the 1993 Cy Young Award winner in the American League, leading the loop with a 22-10 record and four shutouts. He posted a 3.37 ERA in 256.2 innings.

2. McDowell's last full, effective season came with the Yankees in 1995, following a money-saving trade by the White Sox. He was 15-10 with a 3.93 ERA that, while worse than his previous standards, gave him an above-average ERA+ (118). He infamously flipped off the home crowd in the Bronx after being yanked from a blowout loss, and later gave up the winning hit to Edgar Martinez in the do-or-die fifth game of the 1995 ALCS. Injuries marred his subsequent stints in Cleveland and Anaheim, and he retired after the Angels released him in 1999.

3. He is currently the manager of the Dodgers' rookie league team in the Pioneer Baseball League, the Ogden Raptors.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: "Black Jack" was the toast of the American League when I got into baseball. I certainly didn't expect his career to derail in 1996.

Bill James Said: "A short list of quality pitchers who had musical careers on the side: Denny McLain, Mudcat Grant, Nelson Briles."

On This Date in 1993: December 18. Omar Bongo (great name) is re-elected as president of Gabon in the African country's first multi-party election.

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