Obscure Spotlight: Steve Trachsel

trachselWhen Steve Trachsel retired after the 2008 season, MLB’s average time of game took quite a dive. Trachsel, a starting pitcher, earned the nickname “The Human Rain Delay” for his propensity to hang out on the mound for long periods of time in between pitches.

Trachsel was drafted by the Cubs in 1991, and quickly made his way through the Chicago system, making his Major League debut in 1993. In 1994, Trachsel’s first full season, he finished fourth in the Rookie of the Year voting, when he posted a 9-7 record with a 3.21 ERA.

The best season of Trachsel’s career came with the Cubs in 1996. His 3.03 ERA in 31 starts earned him his first and only All-Star appearance.  He played for the Cubs for parts of 8 seasons, including a second stint with the North-Siders in 2007. His most well-known highlight for the Cubs, of course, came in 1998, when he was on the mound for Mark McGwire’s record-breaking 62nd home run:

All told, Trachsel’s career numbers are quite mediocre: a 143-159 career record, with a 4.40 ERA. In addition to the Cubs, Trachsel appeared in the Majors for the Mets, Orioles, Blue Jays, and Devil Rays. My greatest Trachsel memory happened in 2000, when he was pitching for the D-Rays. Tampa Bay visited Boston and Trachsel outdueled Pedro Martinez in a 1-0 game. Martinez fanned 17 Devil Rays, but gave up the game’s lone run in the top of the 8th. Steve Trachsel went the distance at Fenway, defeating the Red Sox 1-0. Damn you Trachsel!

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