Monday, January 6, 2014
1992 Pinnacle Rookie Idols #4 Rocket and Wohlers
It's easy to see why Mark Wohlers would have looked up to Roger Clemens. The former Braves closer grew up in Holyoke, MA (a small city about 90 miles west of Boston), where he starred on the high school baseball team before being taken in the eighth round in the 1988 draft. Clemens had already attained stardom by then, having won back-to-back Cy Young Awards during Wohlers' sophomore and junior years.
Besides their size (each at 6'4) and reputations as power pitchers, they also have this in common: Ohio. Rocket was born in Dayton, while Mark ended his career in Cleveland. But for a few months, they also shared a summer in New York.
The Yankees acquired Wohlers from Cincinnati on July 1, 2001 for pitching prospect Ricardo Aramboles. At the time of the trade, the Rocket was well on his way to winning the sixth of his seven Cy Young awards; Wohlers was just trying to reestablish his major league career. A few years earlier, he had completely lost the ability to throw strikes. After pitching in only 27 major league games in 1998, Wohlers missed almost all of the '99 season. His return to the major leagues came in late July of 2000.
After becoming a teammate of Clemens, Wohlers appeared in relief in seven games that his childhood idol started:
July 4, 14, 23, 28; Aug 15, 25; Sept 30