Baseball Digest Birthdays: Dan Plesac

While the average fan may not know this at quick glance, but a key member of the on-air personality talent for the MLB Network sits at the top of numerous franchise records for the Milwaukee Brewers including career ERA and saves. He went on to become a well traveled journeyman reliever with five other teams over the course of an eighteen year career. His longevity ranks him sixth all time with 1,064 games pitched.

Born in 1962 in Gary, Indiana, Dan Plesac was drafted as the 26th pick in the 1983 June Amateur Draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. Plesac coasted through the minor leagues in just three seasons and jumped right from Double A ball to the big leagues at the start of the 1986 season. In the first four seasons of his career, he averaged a 2.63 ERA and saved 100 games while earning a trip to each of the All-Star Games from 1987-1989. His ERA rose in 1990 and he lost the closer’s role by the 1991 season. Though he rebounded in middle relief during the 1992 season, it was the end of his run with the Milwaukee Brewers.

In an October 1987 issue of Baseball Digest, Dan Madden wrote about Dan Plesac’s desire to establish himself as one of the best relievers in the American League. Click here to read more!

Beginning in 1993, Plesac began his career as a journeyman reliever, traveling to Chicago, Pittsburgh, Toronto(where he teamed with fellow ’83 draft pick Roger Clemens), Arizona, Toronto once again and Philadelphia for the final year plus of his career. His only taste of the postseason came with the 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks against the New York Mets in the Division Series. He appeared in just one game during the 3-1 series loss.

During the final year as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, he had the distinction of being the last Phillies pitcher on the mound at Veteran’s Stadium on September 28th, 2003. The team moved into Citizens Bank Park at the start of the 2004 season. Though Plesac’s playing days were over, he did not stay away from the game long before joining Comcast Sportsnet Chicago as an announcer. When the MLB Network began broadcasting on January 1st, 2009, Plesac joined the on air staff.

Also Born Today:

Eddie Ainsmith was born in Russia in 1890 and spent much of his 15 year major league career catching Walter Johnson and the rest of the St. Louis Cardinals. He lived to be 91 years old and was a manager of the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League after his playing days ended.

Germany Schaefer was born in 1876 in Chicago, Illinois and was considered one of the biggest pranksters during the Dead Ball Era. A smart baseball player, he forced MLB to institute a new rule as a result of his on field stunts to disrupt the opposing team. Before “Dutch” Schaefer, there was no rule preventing a player from stealing second base from first — and essentially stealing first from second in an effort to attempt a previously failed double steal which Schaefer had tried. A year after his early death at the age of 42 in 1919, MLB formally restricted the ability to return to first base after advancing to second via stolen base.


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