Rick Rhoden

Rhoden overcame childhood osteomyelitis (a bone disease; he wore a brace until he was 12, and had surgery to remove part of his left knee so it would not outgrow his right) and serious shoulder surgery in 1979 to become one of the more dependable pitchers of the 1980s. An All-Star in his rookie 1976 season (12-3) with the Dodgers, he followed with a 16-10 mark. In April 1979, he was traded to Pittsburgh for Jerry Reuss, but was disabled for all but one game. An intelligent, fastball-slider pitcher, from 1982 through 1986 he went 63-63, averaging 236 innings a year. He led the Pirates in wins in 1981 (nine), 1984 (14), and 1986 (15), and the Yankees in 1987 (16). An all-around athlete, he committed only six errors in his first 14 seasons, and won three NL Silver Slugger awards for pitchers in 1984-86, compiling a .239 NL batting average.