Armed with a variety of nasty pitches, Shuey was expected to become the Indians’ closer of the future when he was drafted by Cleveland in 1992. But the once-promising reliever was sidetracked by a number of problems: a high leg kick that allowed runners to steal at will, an alarming tendency to walk batters in bunches, and a procession of injuries that forced five trips to the DL in his first six seasons. By the end of the 2000 season, Shuey had amassed just 19 major-league saves.
Along the way, Shuey adopted a bizarre goatee. “I saw it in the movies,” he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1999. “On a guy who was killing bears. I said, ‘Hey, I haven’t seen that anywhere else.’ So I tried it.”