When the 1997 season was over Ben McDonald had already had a pretty interesting baseball career. He's a member of the College Baseball Hall of Fame for his pitching accomplishments at LSU and was a member the Gold Medal-winning USA team in the 1988 Seoul Olympics before being the #1 overall pick in the 1989 draft. He debuted in the majors as a 21-year-old in 1989 and had pitched nine major league seasons, posting a 3.91 ERA over 211 appearances.
On this day in 1998 his career was all but over, though, and the Brewers were forced to take him back after trading him to the Indians as damaged goods earlier in the winter.
McDonald had been a part of a five-player deal that brought outfielder Marquis Grissom to Milwaukee, but never appeared in a game for Cleveland. Earlier in the spring he had unsuccessful surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and would never pitch in the majors again.
In his place the Brewers sent reliever Mark Watson to Cleveland. He went on to appear in just eleven games as a member of three teams between 2000-03.
With help from Brewerfan.net and the B-Ref Play Index, we'd like to wish a happy birthday today to:
- 2012 AZL Brewer Francisco Rivero, who turns 22.
- 2012 Wisconsin Timber Rattler Mike Garza, who turns 23.
- 2008 Brewer Salomon Torres, who turns 41. We covered his birthday in this space last year.
- 1998 Brewer Rod Henderson, who turns 42.