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Best career comebacks

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  • Best career comebacks

    I was watching a highlight of Gibson's home run off Eckersley in the 1988 WS and I thought of how Eckersley was able to come back from personal demons to become one, if not, the greatest closer in the history of the game. Name some players that were stars at the start of their career, then hit a slide for a couple of years where everyone thought they were done, and then regained their previous form.

    Some players off the top of my head:
    Luis Tiant
    Dennis Eckersley
    Mike Lowell
    Dave Stewart

  • #2
    Ken Griffey Jr. comes to mind.

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    • #3
      Frank Tanana overcame arm problems( not to mention Tommy John) that turned him from a fireballer to reinventing himself as a pitcher to have a lot of very good years

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      • #4
        Scott Hatteberg came back from nothing to forge an OK MLB career.
        MySpace Codes

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        • #5
          Mark McGwire
          John Hiller
          Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
          Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

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          • #6
            Tommy John
            “There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil.” Walter Lippmann

            "Fill in any figure you want for that boy (Mantle). Whatever the figure, it's a deal." - Branch Rickey

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            • #7
              Tommy Davis.........all those great hitting years with the Dodgers, then the Mets, ChiSox, original Pilots, Astros, Cubs, A's - bouncing back and forth in the latter years. By 1972, one would have thought that Tommy's career as a full-time player was long over. But, the invention of the degenerated hitter rule on it's "three-year trial basis" began in 1973. Now I despise the DH, even though my AL team was and is the Orioles. The role was perfect for Tommy, and he had three splendid seasons at the plate as the Oriole DH from 1973-75 (oh, he'd step in an play first base once in a while). After a final tour with Angels and Royals in 1976, Tommy called it a career.

              As stated, I never liked the DH rule and still wish that all of professional baseball would dump it for good. But I did like Tommy Davis.

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              • #8
                Another player I can think of would be Jim Perry (Gaylord's older brother). Jim was the ace for the Indians in 1960, tying for the AL lead in wins with 18. He was an All-Star pitcher in 1961. Traded to Minnesota in 1963 (for Jack Kralick:noidea), Perry was in the rotation a couple of seasons, but was more a spot starter from 1963-68, averaging 16.5 starts per year. He was always a good pitcher, but not the staff ace and not always in the rotation.

                A rash of injuries to the Twin staff in 1969 threw Perry into the rotation and he became the ace of the staff at 33 years old. Jim started 36 games that year, posted a 20-6 record, 2.82 ERA, completed 12 and threw three shutouts. A year later, Jim tied for the league lead with 24 wins (tied with Cuellar and McNally) and was selected as the AL Cy Young Award winner. Jim was an All-Star in 1970 for the first time in 9-years.

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                • #9
                  Tony Conigliaro made a pretty impressive comeback from a potentially life-threatening beaning.
                  Always go to other people's funerals, otherwise they won't come to yours. - Yogi Berra

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                  • #10
                    Roger Clemens

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                    • #11
                      Curt Simmons was considered done 1960 when the Phillies released him. St.L signed him and he had 5 solid seasons, including being an integral part of the Cards 1964 WS title team by winning 18 games.

                      John Olerud is another that comes to mind. Cito Gaston didn't like him in Toronto & he was traded to the Mets, where he resurrected his career

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                      • #12
                        Magglio Ordonez last season
                        Frank Thomas the last two seasons
                        Julio Franco?
                        My top 10 players:

                        1. Babe Ruth
                        2. Barry Bonds
                        3. Ty Cobb
                        4. Ted Williams
                        5. Willie Mays
                        6. Alex Rodriguez
                        7. Hank Aaron
                        8. Honus Wagner
                        9. Lou Gehrig
                        10. Mickey Mantle

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                        • #13
                          Oliver Perez and Dmitri Young come to mind from last year alone. That being said, one memorable one may surprise some of you...Dewon Brazelton. He wasn't that good, no, but the fact he was even able to pitch AT ALL after the injuries he'd sustained was truly amazing.
                          "They put me in the Hall of Fame? They must really be scraping the bottom of the barrel!"
                          -Eppa Rixey, upon learning of his induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

                          Motafy (MO-ta-fy) vt. -fied, -fying 1. For a pitcher to melt down in a big game situation; to become like Guillermo Mota. 2. The transformation of a good pitcher into one of Guillermo Mota's caliber.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Dalkowski110 View Post
                            That being said, one memorable one may surprise some of you...Dewon Brazelton. He wasn't that good, no, but the fact he was even able to pitch AT ALL after the injuries he'd sustained was truly amazing.
                            Dave Dravecky, then
                            Mythical SF Chronicle scouting report: "That Jeff runs like a deer. Unfortunately, he also hits AND throws like one." I am Venus DeMilo - NO ARM! I can play like a big leaguer, I can field like Luzinski, run like Lombardi. The secret to managing is keeping the ones who hate you away from the undecided ones. I am a triumph of quantity over quality. I'm almost useful, every village needs an idiot.
                            Good traders: MadHatter(2), BoofBonser26, StormSurge

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              A lot of people thought Ruth was "done" after '25, some even after '22. Not that he would retire, just not be special anymore.

                              Rabbit Maranville sure looked like he needed a fork in him in '27.

                              It looked like diabetes was going to beat Dave Hollins, but he came back with a couple of good years.

                              I figured David Eckstein would find a job after the Angels didn't pursue him in favor of OCab, but not play better than his replacement and also star in a WS within two years...
                              "I throw him four wide ones, then try to pick him off first base." - Preacher Roe on pitching to Musial

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