Kory: The ballad of Jeff Ballard

From Matthew Kory at The National Pastime Museum on June 14, 2017:

In the baseball world, July 8, 1994, was nothing special. It lived but 24 hours and then, like most days, disappeared as though it had never existed. Except, that wasn’t true for Jeff Ballard. That Friday was the last he would ever pitch in a Major League game. Wearing Pirates black, Ballard faced the Reds and gave, if you’ve ever looked at Jeff Ballard’s career numbers, a predictable performance: four runs in two innings, walking one and striking out one. This performance accomplished two things: It brought his ERA for the season up to 6.66 and his career to an end.

Effective pitching at the Major League level involves not walking batters, not letting them homer when they manage to make contact, and striking hitters out. Jeff Ballard somehow pitched in the Majors for parts of seven seasons while effectively walking as many batters as he struck out. Look at Ballard’s numbers and you might think he pitched in the Deadball Era.

Read the full article here: https://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/ballad-jeff-ballard

Originally published: June 14, 2017. Last Updated: June 14, 2017.