On this day 18 years ago, former White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle made his MLB debut.
NBC Sports Chicago’s stats guru Chris Kamka tweeted out Buehrle’s debut.
Buehrle was just 21 years old when he got called up to the big leagues, and spent 12 seasons with the Sox. He also had stints with the Marlins and Blue Jays.
Buehrle was never an overpowering pitcher with his fastball in the high 80’s. He was also known for working quickly on the mound to keep hitters off balance.
That paid big dividends for the Sox hurler, as he’s known for tossing a no-hitter against the Rangers in 2007 and MLB’s 18th perfect game against the Rays in 2009, with both of those games coming at then U.S Cellular Field.
A big highlight from the perfect game, a lot will never forget is former Sox outfielder Dwyane Wise saving Buehrle’s perfect game with a ridiculous juggling catch in center field. Ever since then, “The Catch” has been engraved on the outfield wall in left center.
Besides the no-hitter and perfect game, Buehrle knew how to field his position. Eight years ago against the Indians on Opening Day, Buehrle kicked a ground ball off his foot into foul territory and to record the out, he flipped the ball between his legs to first basemen Paul Konerko who barehanded it and got the out.
Let’s just say that play was at the top for that season.
But, as for eating up innings, Buehrle did not shy away from showing his durability.
After his rookie season, Buehrle threw over 200 innings in 14 consecutive seasons. In his tenure with the Blue Jays, he was just an inning and a third away from becoming the fifth pitcher in MLB history to record over 200 innings pitched in 15 straight seasons.
In his 16 years in the MLB, Buehrle finished with 214 wins and 160 losses, with a 3.81 ERA in 518 games and 493 starts over 3,000 innings. He won the 2005 World Series with the Sox and he also won the Cy young that year.
Buehrle appeared in five All-Star games, and he won four gold gloves, along with two pitcher of the month awards.
2005 was a good year to say the least for Buehrle. He finished the year at 16-8 with a 3.12 ERA which arguably could’ve been his best season in a Sox uniform.
His number 56 was retired by the Sox last season, becoming the 12th player in Sox history to have their jersey retired.
What a career it was for number 56.