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A sad year for lefty fans (all one of them!). Al Leiter and Kirk Rueter hang it up

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  • A sad year for lefty fans (all one of them!). Al Leiter and Kirk Rueter hang it up

    So, these two venerable lefties have decided to retire before this season gets underway.

    While they will never be confused with the all-time greats, they did enjoy a better than average career. I for one, am very sad to see them go.

    Al Leiter

    Leiter just cracks my list of the top 100 lefties ever, finishing in 98th place after his 19th season in 2005. Although he'll most certainly drop in the rankings in the coming year or two, he'll always be remembered for his no-no with the Marlins, and having the honor of being the first player in major league history to defeat all 30 different franchises.

    Alois Terry Leiter
    From my lefty collection:

    Kirk Rueter

    Rueter wraps up his 13 career with an impressive 130-92 record. He finished 2005 in 197th place on my all-time list, and sits in 6th place all-time among Giants lefties in wins (18th overall), and 4th place in innings pitched (17th overall). Since the club moved to San Francisco in 1958, Rueter is the winningest Giant southpaw. The last 2 years really hurt Woody's overall career record, but that didn't stop the organization from planning a Kirk Rueter Day this season to honor one of their most popular players in recent memory.

    Did you know: Kirk Rueter started his career 10-0, becoming the first Giant to do so since Hooks Wiltse in 1904?

    Kirk Wesley Rueter
    From my lefty collection:

  • #2
    Is it really that sad? Look at the bright side: Scott Kazmir could become one of the most dominant lefty SPs in decades


    • #3
      I remember Rueter when he first came up. Guy had a great winning percentage for a while. The first time he got really shelled, SI took a picture of him in the dugout and featured it at the front of the issue it appeared in. He was just wide-eyed in disbelief that it happened.
      Dave Bill Tom George Mark Bob Ernie Soupy Dick Alex Sparky
      Joe Gary MCA Emanuel Sonny Dave Earl Stan
      Jonathan Neil Roger Anthony Ray Thomas Art Don
      Gates Philip John Warrior Rik Casey Tony Horace
      Robin Bill Ernie JEDI


      • #4
        thanx for paying respects in the current events, cj.

        though it was inevitable, giants fans were sad to see woody go.
        rueter lived on the outside corner and was particularly affected when calling the strike zone was addressed.

        all stats count, of course, but going into 2004 rueter posted a 119-73 record, good for a remarkable .620 winning percentage. it got whittled down to a very respectable .586 after ending with a 130-92 record.

        this was posted in the giants forum.
        "you don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. just get people to stop reading them." -ray bradbury


        • #5
          Al ended with the same team he started with.

          Al Leiter (right) told manager Joe Torre
          of his retirement before Sunday's game.
          (Mark Mandrake\NYY)

          Leiter retires after Yanks' win
          Veteran left-hander hangs it up following one last appearance

          TAMPA, Fla. -- After retiring the only batter he faced on Sunday against Cleveland, two-time All-Star Al Leiter announced his retirement.
          Leiter, a non-roster invitee to Yankees camp, had just returned from a stint with Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, and there was speculation he would retire following the tournament.

          Leiter told manager Joe Torre and general manager Brian Cashman of his decision before the game, and it was decided that he would pitch following Randy Johnson until he got an out, which happened on a ground ball by Eduardo Perez, the first batter he faced.
          However, all is not lost: Randy Johnson appeared yesterday on the Simpsons cartoon (to an extent, about some lefty's club).

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