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Pat Hentgen, the 1996 American League Cy Young Award winner, was born on 11/13/1968, which would appear to make him Everything's patron baseball player, and is presently a pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.

Hentgen started his baseball career as a highly touted pitching prospect for the Toronto Blue Jays. After being drafted in the fifth round in 1986 he made his debut in 1991, pitching in three games and starting one. In 1992 he made 28 appearances, starting two, and went 5-2 with one hold and one blown save. He lived up to his billing as a prospect in 1993, his first year as an (almost) full time starter. Starting 32 games he went 19-9 with a 3.87 ERA as the ace of the World Series champion Blue Jays. He also reached the 200 inning plateau for the first of four times. Strike-shortened 1994 saw him win 13 games and lose 8, also making the AL All-Star team.

In 1995 he had what can only be described as an ugly year, going 10-14 with an ERA over 5 and allowing 236 hits and 90 walks, good for first and fifth in the majors. 1996, however, would prove to be his year. He won 20 games for the only time in his career, and led the league with 10 complete games, 3 shutouts, and 265 and 2/3 innings pitched. He also finished second in ERA to teammate Juan Guzman and won both the Sporting News AL Pitcher of the Year and the AL Cy Young award, beating out New York Yankees ace Andy Pettitte.

He had another solid season in 1997, making the all-star team and leading the league in complete games, shutouts, and innings pitched for the second consecutive year while going 15-10. After going a combined 23-23 in 98 and 99 with declining velocity on his out-pitch, a fastball, his name was on the trading block, and his number was called in November of 1999. He was sent to the St. Louis Cardinals with Paul Spoljaric, a relief pitcher who would pitch only 9 2/3 innings after the trade, for lefty reliever Lance Painter, catcher Alberto Castillo, and pitching prospect Matt DeWitt, who would never catch on in the majors.

Hentgen pitched well for the Cardinals, going 15-12, but he lost the deciding game in the NLCS and his option wasn't picked up, so he signed with the Baltimore Orioles. In 2001, his first year with the Orioles, the injury bug struck. After nine starts he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery. He returned near the end of 2002.

After a rocky start Hentgen finished 2003 as one of the players bandied about in trade rumor after trade rumor, but he finished what was arguably his best year since 1997 an Oriole. Following the year he returned to the team he started out with, the Toronto Blue Jays. Signed to a one year, 2.2 million dollar deal, he's expected to help stabilize a rotation that was in chaos behind Roy Halladay for much of 2003.



Sources: http://www.interlog.com/~mrbill/hentgen_top.htm , http://members.aol.com/hentgen/hentgen1.htm , http://www.baseballreference.com , http://orioles.mlb.com

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