On this day in 1965, Kevin Wickander was born in Fort Dodge, Iowa. After a college career at Grand Canyon University, the Indians selected him with their second round pick (30th overall) in the 1986 draft. After just two full seasons in the minors, the Indians called him up for the first time in 1989, then brought him back for ten appearances in 1990.
During that 1990 season, something strange happened. On April 23, Wickander lost a game for the first time. That loss is notable because it was the only one of his major league career.
Wickander pitched for the Indians again in 1992, the Indians and Reds 1993, the Tigers in 1995 and the Brewers in 1995 and '96 without ever losing another major league game. He made 144 appearances over that stretch, tied for the sixth longest streak in all of recorded baseball history:
|Trever Miller||240||2006-09||Astros, Rays and Cardinals|
|Randy Flores||176||2006-09||Cardinals and Rockies|
|Rich Rodriguez||170||1997-2000||Giants and Mets|
|Ron Mahay||154||2006-09||Rangers, Braves and Royals|
|Bobby Seay||149||2001-08||Rays, Rockies and Tigers|
|Kevin Wickander||144||1990-96||Indians, Reds, Tigers and Brewers|
Thatcher's streak is still active.
The Brewers were Wickander's last stop in the majors. After appearing in 21 games for them in 1996 he was released and never pitched in affiliated ball again. Unfortunately, Wickander's loss-free streak didn't follow him away from the diamond. Here he is in a 2002 article talking about his meth addiction and resulting prison sentence.
Wickander turns 47 today. With help from the B-Ref Play Index, we'd also like to wish a happy birthday to 2009 Brewer Jason Bourgeois. He turns 30.