Monday, July 27, 2015

#459 Derek Wallace

About the Front: Here's a very fresh-faced Derek Wallace, first-round draft pick (11th overall) of the Cubs. If you'll recall way back to the beginning of Series One, the Expos' first-round pick (third overall) was also a college pitcher with the surname of Wallace: lefty B. J. Eerie stuff.

About the Back: Derek shares his September 1 birthday with former big league outfielders Garry Maddox and Rico Carty, among others.

Triple Play:

1. He earned his first big league win on September 4, 1996, tossing two scoreless frames of relief as the Mets topped the Dodgers in 12 innings.

2. Nine days later - September 13, 1996 - Wallace earned an unusual save by striking out four Braves in the ninth inning of a 6-4 New York victory. He opened the inning by whiffing Terry Pendleton, but the veteran third baseman reached safely on a wild pitch on strike three. He then froze Chipper Jones for the first out before Fred McGriff doubled to put the tying runs in scoring position. The rookie responded by fanning Ryan Klesko and pinch hitter Mike Mordecai.

3. After an uneven debut with the Mets in late 1996 (2-3, three saves, 4.01 ERA, 1.74 WHIP), Derek didn't resurface in the majors until 1999, when he allowed four runs - three earned - in 8.1 innings for the Royals. That was his only other exposure to MLB.

11-Year-Old Kevin Says: I had never heard of Pepperdine University at that time, and didn't even know where it was located. Malibu, as it turns out. I'm not sure why I never did a campus visit there when I was college hunting.

Bill James Said: Zippo.

On This Date in 1993: July 27. The number of the day is five. John Kruk goes 5-for-5 with three RBI in a 10-7 Phillies win over the Cardinals. Tony Gwynn also has five hits in as many at-bats, doubling twice and driving in three runs in an 8-0 Padres rout against the Cubs.

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