|NEVER BECAME THE ACE EVERYONE EXPECTED.|
|BUT HE WAS A COLLEGE AND OLYMPIC STAR.|
DEFINING THE PLAYER
- The No. 1 pick of the major-league draft in 1989 as a junior out of LSU, 6-foot-7 Ben McDonald was considered a sure-bet future ace. Unfortunately for the Orioles, who had the top pick after a 107-loss season and needed arms worse than the Grenadian military, he was never better than a No. 2 or 3 during his nine-year career.
- However, the sky seemed to be the limit after his first major-league start on July 21, 1990. McDonald shut out the White Sox on four hits with five strikeouts and a walk, needing only 85 pitches. It was the first of three victories to begin his career.
- Although he was only 13-14 in '93, McDonald threw seven complete games, pitching 220.1 innings, allowing 185 hits, striking out 171 with an ERA of 3.39.
FIVE FINAL FACTS
- Led Team USA to the '88 Olympic gold medal, going 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in 18 innings.
- Started only two games in Class A before making his debut in Baltimore in September '89.
- McDonald was the first No. 1 pick to win his first three major-league starts. The Pirates' Gerrit Cole matched that feat this year.
- A free agent after '95, he signed with the Brewers, going 12-10 with a 3.90 ERA.
- A shoulder injury cost him part of the '97 season, but unsuccessful rotator cuff surgery forced him to retire.
|ACQUIRED DURING SPRING TRAINING IN THE EARLY '90s.|