Wednesday, October 1, 2014

1993 TOPPS FINEST: #147 CAL ELDRED

HAD THE MAKINGS OF A STAFF ACE.



ALAS, ELBOW INJURIES CURTAILED A PROMISING CAREER.



DEFINING THE PLAYER

  • Cal Eldred was a first-round pick by the Brewers (17th overall) in 1989 and considered a future ace. He showed glimpses of becoming that stopper but a balky elbow eventually short-circuited those plans and turned him into a reliever. He pitched 14 years for three teams, compiling an 86-74 record and 4.42 ERA.

DEFINING MOMENT

  • In his rookie season in '92, Eldred threw his first shutout, dominating the Angels 3-0 on Sept. 23. He allowed four hits, striking out four, outdueling #46 Jim Abbott, who also went the distance.

DEFINING SEASON

  • Eldred made a major-league-leading 36 starts in his first full season in '93 at age 25, winning 16 games with a 4.01 ERA. He also pitched an AL-leading 258 innings.

FIVE FINAL FACTS

  1. The Mets originally selected Eldred out of high school in the 26th round of the '86 draft.
  2. Turned down the offer and signed a scholarship to pitch for the University of Iowa, where he stayed until the Brewers selected him after his junior year.
  3. Made 14 starts in '92 with the Brewers, going 11-2 with a 1.79 ERA, finishing fourth for AL Rookie of the Year.
  4. Experienced his first elbow trouble in '95, undergoing Tommy John surgery after four starts.
  5. Was 10-2 for the White Sox at the '00 All-Star break before hurting his elbow again and started only three more games the rest of his career.

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