Bats: Right, Throws: Right
Height: 6' 10", Weight: 290 lb.
High School: Oldham County (Oldham County, KY)
School: Morehead State University
Drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 3rd round of the 1999 amateur draft.
Signed June 9, 1999. (All Transactions)
Debut: April 2, 2002
Teams (by GP): Nationals/Diamondbacks/Twins/BlueJays/WhiteSox/... 2002-2011
2012 Contract Status: Free Agent, 1 yr/$3.5M (11), 1 yr/$3.5M (12) (details)[*]
Service Time (01/2012): 7.126, Free Agent: 2013 [*], link
The tallest player in MLB history, Jon Rauch [fastball (88-94), slider (80-84), curve (72-77), change (83-88), cutter (86-88)], started an infamous game on May 2, 2002 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago.
The 6’11’’ right-hander retired only one batter on that historic evening.
The 3rd round pick of the White Sox in June 1999 hit Ichiro with the very first pitch, sparking the Seattle Mariners offense. The first eight batters in their lineup reached base in the following sequence.
HBP / HR / HR / 2B / E4 / 1B / 1B / 1B / then a SF (out of game)
Bret Boone and Mike Cameron became the first teammates in MLB history to hit back-to-back home runs twice in the same inning, hitting round two off of Jim Parque. By the fifth inning, Cameron became only the 13th player ever to wallop four home runs in a single game and narrowly missed a fifth ‘big fly’ in his last at-bat.
This writer and the creator of 60ft6in.com were in attendance sitting along the first baseline on that brisk evening. The announced crowd was 12,891 but it appeared smaller in person.
Rauch has since reinvented himself as a durable late-inning reliever. The veteran right-hander appeared in an NL-leading 88 games during the 2007 season after appearing in 85 games the previous year for the Washington Nationals.
In 2010, he saved 21 games for the Minnesota Twins in place of the injured Joe Nathan.
Rauch has started only 11 games in his MLB career and that one-out beauty in May 2002 was by far his worst. Sometimes it takes a historic evening to redefine a pitcher’s role.