May 10 – Happy Birthday Pete Schourek

schourekSeveral members of the Red Sox all-time roster were born on today’s date, however none of them became household names. Of all the former Boston players born on today’s date, a former left-handed starting pitcher by the name of  Pete Schourek, saw the most action for the Red Sox.

Born in Austin, Texas, he ended up going to high school in Virginia and impressed scouts at the time with his amazingly sharp curveball. It was a good enough pitch to get Schourek selected by the Mets in the second round of the 1987 draft but the fact that he was throwing it so much at a young age was probably the reason he blew out his elbow in the minors and required Tommy John surgery. He still was able to make his big league debut with New York by 1999 to quite a bit of media fanfare but he never made it big in Queens. When he went 5-12 in 1993, the Mets put him on waivers and he was claimed by the Reds,

Cincinnati proved much more to his liking. He had his career year there in 1995, going 18-7 with a 3.22 ERA and finishing second to Greg Maddux in that year’s Cy Young Award voting. He never got close to those numbers again, probably because he continued to suffer arm ailments, which required three more surgeries.

The Red Sox got him a first time during the 1998 season, when they purchased his contract from the Astros. Schourek went just 1-3 in eight starts down the stretch for  manager, Jimy Williams ball club and was granted free agency at seasons’ end. He then pitched for the Pirates in 1999 before returning to Boston in 2000 and going 3-10 with a 5.11 ERA in 21 more starts under Williams. You’d think with those stats, his career as a Red Sox was over but Williams brought him back the following spring and he spent his last half season as a big leaguer pitching out of Boston’s bullpen in 2001. His career record in the Majors was 66-77.

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