Bucco Blast From The Past: Doug Drabek

By Chad Carlson
Photo Credit: Rick Stewart/Getty Images
For this week’s edition of Bucco Blast From The Past, we look back at the career of Doug Drabek.
The Victoria, Texas native was known for his fluid pitching motion and sound mechanics, and spent his best years as professional pitcher right here in Pittsburgh from 1987 to 1992. 
After being drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 11th round in the 1983 amateur draft and shimmying his way around the minor league circuit for several years, Drabek made his Major League debut in 1986 as a member of the New York Yankees.  That following offseason, he was traded along with other names Logan Easley and Brian Fisher to the Pirates for Rick Rhoden, Cecilio Guante and Pat Clements.  That’s right, these were the days when trades actually paid off for the Pirates.
His best year, by far, was 1990, when he finished with a 22-6 record and a 2.76 ERA, winning the National League Cy Young Award and leading the Buccos to the postseason.  The Pirates, of course, lost the National League Championship Series that year to the Cincinnati Reds.  Drabek’s 22 wins, however, were a league high, and surpassed his next best season by seven victories.
Drabek signed with the Houston Astros after the 1992 season, putting up a solid ERA of 3.79.  Unfortunately, due to pitiful offensive support and several other issues beyond his control, he only finished with a 9-18 record. 
He started off the 1994 season much better, going 12-6 with a 2.84 ERA, but the strike that year stalled his continued progress, and it seemed as though he had lost his edge on the mound.  Doug played for the White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles in 1997 and 1998, and retired afterward.
Doug Drabek finished his 12-year career with a record of 155-134, with an ERA of 3.73, while he also struck out almost 1600 batters.  In addition to his Cy Young nod in 1990, he also won the NL TSN Pitcher of the Year award that same season, and was an All-Star selection in 1994 when the annual festivities were held at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, PA.
Drabek, now 48 years old, is currently the pitching coach for the Visalia Rawhide.  His son, Kyle, is a pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays.
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Be Sure to check back again next week for our next edition of Bucco Blast From The Past!
As Always…
Let’s Go Bucs!

Chad Carlson

Co-Editor of Fans From The Stands, Pirates' Beat Writer For Armchair Report, Sports writer for AMN, SteelTownRock And Music City Encore Editor

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