Happy Retirement, Jeff Suppan!

OA wishes a very happy retirement to one of our favorite pitchers, Mr. Jeff Suppan! When I think of Suppan, I think of this legendary blunder during game 3 of the 2004 World Series:

Jeff Suppan was born to be a fourth starter. Throughout his seventeen-year MLB career, he posted an ERA under 4.0 just twice.  In 2005, Suppan’s best  year, he pitched to a 3.57  in 32 starts for the Cardinals. Five years later, he put up a 3.84 earned run average in just 70 innings for San Diego.

San Diego Padres v St. Louis CardinalsA journeyman’s journeyman, Suppan suited up for 7 different teams, including two stints with Boston and St. Louis. He has a 140-146 career record on the mound with a beautifully average 4.70 ERA. He pitched just 7 winning seasons, but always found a job because of his durability– he made 30 starts 8 times, and averaged 200 innings pitched over his lengthy career.

I’ll also remember Suppan for the absurd contract the Brewers gave him after his 2006 postseason heroics. Out of nowhere, Suppan came up with a STELLAR 2006 NLCS, pitching 15 innings, and allowing just 1 run on 5 hits in two starts. The Brewers knew they had to nail down the back end of their pitching rotation for the forseeable future, and turned to Suppan.  And so they shelled out a 4-year, $42 million deal for the pitcher. Suppan was mediocre for Milwaukee, but no more mediocre than he had been before or after the deal. The Brewers traded him in 2010, during the final year of the contract.

Suppan last pitched in 2012 for the Padres. The baseball world, and especially Obscure Athletes, will miss this legend.


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