Jeff Ballard

A soft-throwing left-hander, Ballard’s otherwise unremarkable career was highlighted by his turn as the ace of the overachieving 1989 Baltimore club that finished just two games out of first place after losing 107 games the year before. Ballard showed promise for the last-place Orioles in 1988, winning eight times while posting a 4.40 ERA over 25 starts. He captured lightning in a bottle the next year, as his 18-8 record and 3.43 ERA held together an inexperienced Orioles’ staff and kept the club from being eliminated till the penultimate day of the season. But Ballard would never again approach that level of success, and spent most of 1990 in the bullpen while suffering through a dreadful 2-11 campaign. A second straight disappointing season with the Orioles in 1991 proved to be his last in Baltimore, and he was out of baseball after briefly resurfacing with Pittsburgh in 1993 and 1994.