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Baseball’s Greatest One Hit Wonders Part 2: The Pitchers

Chuck Booth (BBBA President/Owner mlbreports.com) 

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Pitching is the most unnatural motion I can think of.  The human arm is not meant to throw 90-100 MPH repeatedly over and over. 

It is for this reason why I am never surprised when Pitchers go out for any injury. 

When I was 15, I was the catcher for former Major League Pitcher Chris Reitsma on our ALL-Star Team.  I witnessed this kid throwing 90 MPH as a teenager. 

Honestly, no one could hit the guy.  As a catcher for 10 years and having a a decent baseball IQ, I was mad that the coach never let me call his pitches for him. 

Why he would even throw sliders, curves and breaking balls is beyond me and it cost us some games versus some California and Arizona teams.   There was no denying that he was a mega talented pitcher. 

He did go onto a decent MLB career, even appeared in 84 games for the Atlanta Braves in 2004.  Yet he finished pitching by the age of 29 because he threw junk. 

Now I will move on here, I am just pointing out that kids should not be throwing  junk until they are finished high school. 

There will be time in future articles to talk about pitching discipline and attitude. 

Just like the hitters that I featured last week, the pitchers I am featuring here took the MLB by storm for a while.  The fan bases were certain that these players would have great careers, only to see them fade quickly. 

If you ask me which position is tougher to stay up on top of, I would definitely say pitching! 

Remember that if you fail 70% of the time as a hitter, you are still labeled a great hitter.  Pitchers have to have a success rate of 75% to be elite. 

Plus when they are out there, it is a continual one after another moment, whereas a hitter has a chance to regroup after an AT BAT.

This set of 5 pitchers (Mark Fidrych, Mark Prior, Jeff Zimmerman, Tommy Greene and Derrick Turnbow) in this list are all pretty much of recent vintage. 

I saw 4 of them play as I only started watching baseball in 1980 and Mark Fidrych was already done by that time. 

This doesn’t mean that I have not seen countless highlights from the man in the last 30 years.  Here are a couple for your enjoyment before we start.

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Baseball’s Greatest One Hit Wonders Part 1: The Batters

Phil Plantier made his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 1990. During the 1992 season, Plantier crushed 11 HRs and added another 35 RBI in just 53 games. He was then traded in the off-season to the San Diego Padres for Jose Melendez. Plantier then thrived in California.

Chuck Booth (BBBA President/Owner mlbreports.com) 

Follow The BBBA On Twitter

Music has one hit wonders, some have even made an entire career out of just one stretch of time where they were deemed relevant. 

Baseball is like everything else, they have had their fair share of players that fit this mold. 

In the next two weeks, we will take a look at hitters and pitchers that were really on fire for a stretch before they petered out just as fast. 

I harken back to the movie ‘Tin Cup” for this next saying,  “Greatness Courts Failure.”  The difference between the two in baseball is so miniscule. 

Unfortunately for every player that makes it to the show, hundreds never get their chance at all.  (more…)

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