Joe Hesketh

Teammates dubbed Hesketh “Fungo” because his 6’2″, 170-lb build reminded them of the long, thin bat. The American Association Pitcher of the Year for 1984 (12-3), he was called for a balk before ever throwing a pitch in his major-league debut that August.

Hesketh was 10-5 in 1985 before fracturing his shin in a collision with Dodger catcher Mike Scioscia, and in 1986 he underwent surgery for an impinged shoulder nerve. He returned to Montreal as a reliever late in 1987, and worked exclusively out of the bullpen until he moved to the Red Sox via the Braves in 1990.

Over half of Hesketh’s 39 appearances for Boston in 1991 were starts, and he took advantage of the opportunity by posting a career-high twelve wins. Rewarded after the season with a two-year contract worth $1.5 million a season, Hesketh fell back to earth in 1992. By the end of the year, he had been pulled from the rotation.

Injuries piled up over the next two seasons, and although he pitched well in 1994 the Red Sox refused to pick up his option. When the Yankees cut him the following spring, Hesketh decided to retire.