June 25, 2021

Happy Birthday Mark Eichhorn – Bluebird Banter (Bluebird Banter)

Mark Eichhorn turns 59 today. He was drafted by the Jays in the 2nd round, 30th overall, in the 1979 amateur draft, out of Cabrillo College, CA, where he played shortstop and pitched. He quickly rose thru the Jay’s farm system and made 7 starts for the Jays as a September call up in 1982. They didn’t go well, he went 0-3 with a 5.45 ERA and to make matters worse he suffered a shoulder injury. The injury cost him the speed off his fastball.

Returning to the minors he learned to throw submarine style in the fall instructional league in 1984. As a right handed submarine pitcher, Mark threw, quite possibly, the slowest pitches in the majors. He threw an extremely slow change-up, a ‘fastball’ and a slider. And with releasing the ball from very low to the ground, coming from behind a right handed batter, he had a huge split in his stats, righties couldn’t hit him at all, while lefties hit him pretty good. In 1986, his return year to the majors and his best season as a Jay, right handed batters only hit .135/.186/.165 against him, while lefties went .259/.345/.434.

In 1986 Mark had the best season ever for a Jay reliever. He pitched in 69 games, throwing an amazing 157…

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