Wednesday, May 4, 2016

#530 - Dave Dravecky

What a card: After a season in which he was used exclusively as a starter, Dave Dravecky returned to his role as a periodic starter and sometimes closer for the Padres in 1984. He saved eight games and helped San Diego to the World Series.

My observation on the front: There's a look at what the AL and NL all-stars are going to have to wear for jerseys during the home run derby at the All-Star Game this year. I don't mind Padres wearing that weirdness but hate that other teams will wear it.

More opinion from me: Dravecky kind of freaked me out when he broke his arm pitching in Montreal in 1989. I was having issues with my arm at the time (even going so far to think it might be cancer) and that really alarmed me. Fortunately there were no lasting problems.

Something you might know: Dravecky made a triumphant return from a cancer diagnosis that forced operation on his pitching arm in 1988. Although told by doctors not to pitch for a couple of years, Dravecky returned on Aug. 10, 1989 with a standout performance against the Reds. But his arm broke while delivering a pitch in his next start in Montreal. Doctors found the cancer had returned and he eventually had to have his arm and shoulder amputated.

Something you might not know: Dravecky is known as a deeply religious man and was as a player, too. The person who inspired Dravecky down that path was his minor league roommate at Double A Amarillo in 1981, a pitcher named Byron Ballard, who played seven seasons in the minors in the Yankees, Padres and Mets organizations.

My observation on the back: Thanks to ESPN, that trivia question is no longer correct.

The blog wants to speak now: The Ballgames category is updated. Appropriately, it's about another sports figure who suffered a devastating on-field injury.

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