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Bill Gullickson
Pitcher
Born: February 20, 1959 (1959-02-20) (age 50)
Marshall, Minnesota
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 26, 1979 for the Montreal Expos
Last MLB appearance
August 7, 1994 for the Detroit Tigers
Career statistics
Record     162-136
ERA     3.93
Strikeouts     1279
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • 162 Career Wins
  • Led A.L. in Wins in 1991 (20) and Games Started (35)

William Lee Gullickson (born February 20, 1959 in Marshall, Minnesota) is a former major league baseball pitcher who played for five different teams, in Canada, the U.S. and Japan during a fourteen year career.

Contents

MLB career

Gullickson was taken in the June 1977 Major League Baseball Draft by the Montreal Expos, the second player to be taken. He finished second behind Steve Howe in the National League Rookie of the Year voting in 1980, after a season in which he went 10-5 with an ERA of 3.00, and set a major-league record for most strikeouts in a game by a rookie, with 18. Gullickson held that record for 18 years, until Kerry Wood broke it with 20 strikeouts in 1998. Gullickson currently holds the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals all-time strikeout record for a single game with 18 strikeouts.

In 1981 he helped the Expos to their only division title with a 7-9, 2.81 record. Except for the 1981 strike season, Gullickson was in double figures in wins for every year onward.

Gullickson was acquired by the Reds in 1986, going 15-12 that season. The next year he was acquired by the New York Yankees for their 1987 pennant drive, but he was unhappy there and in 1988 accepted a two million offer to pitch in Japan for the Yomiuri Giants.

NPB career

Gullickson stayed with the Giants for two seasons, with a record 21-14. From this major league pitcher, the son of Japanese baseball legend Shigeo Nagashima, Kazushige Nagashima got the first hit in his professional career, a home run. When asked about his time in Japan, Gullickson said it was strange; the only English words that he saw were "Sony and Mitsubishi."

Although only in Japan for a short time, Gullickson left behind a positive legacy. When he was in Japan, it was considered a miracle that Gullickson, a patient of type 1 Diabetes Mellitus, played a professional sport. Since 1998, the Japan Diabetes Mellitus Society (JADMC) has placed the "Gullickson Award" for the patient who is deemed a superior influence on society. While in Japan, Gullickson had also developed a close friendship with a young Japanese pitcher, Masumi Kuwata, and even named his son "Craig Kuwata Gullickson" in his honor. On the flip side, Kuwata learned many things from Gullickson, and grew to be one of the best players in Japan. Meanwhile, Kuwata had always wished to play in the MLB, and at last, this dream was realized in 2007, as he became a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Nearly 20 years after meeting Gullickson, Kuwata became an MLB rookie, at the age of 39.

Back to MLB

Gullickson signed as a free agent with the Houston Astros after the 1989 season, and had a mediocre season before being released.

He then signed a multi-million dollar contract with the Detroit Tigers, with whom he pitched for 4 seasons. While with the Tigers he met a kid who was then 12, who also had diabetes, and talked to him for two minutes. It was future major leaguer Sam Fuld, who is battling to make the Cubs' 2008 team. "That was enough to inspire me," Fuld said. "Any time I can talk to young diabetic kids, I look forward to that opportunity."[1]

In 1991 Gullickson led the American League in wins, with 20, but in 1994 was forced to retire due to injuries.

Family

Gullickson is married to Sandy Gullickson and is the father of many up and coming sports stars. Daughter, Cassie, is on the Track and Field Team at the University of Notre Dame.[1] Daughter, Carly, is a professional tennis player, whose highest world ranking in singles is 133 and in doubles 52.[2] Bill and Sandy are also the parents of Chelsey,[3] Callie, Craig, and Chloe.[2]

Craig Gullickson was a standout pitcher at Cardinal Newman High School, where he was one of the best pitchers in the state of Florida. He received a scholarship to play for Clemson University after his wonderful performance in the High School All Star game, played in Arizona. One of the coaches for that game was his coach at Cardinal Newman, Jack Kokinda.[4]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Cassie Gullickson". The Official Athletic Site. The University of Notre Dame. http://und.cstv.com/sports/c-track/mtt/gullickson_cassie00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-21.  
  2. ^ a b Carly Gullickson at the International Tennis Federation
  3. ^ "Chelsey Gullickson: Junior Spotlight of the Week". United States Tennis Association. 2005-02-24. http://www.usta.com/?sc_itemid=6b96ccd2-3cbe-42ef-9fe3-8b6d632555e6. Retrieved 2008-08-21.  
  4. ^ "Craig Gullickson". Profile. Clemson Athletics. http://clemsontigers.cstv.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/gullickson_craig00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-21.  

External links

Preceded by
Bob Welch
American League Wins Champion
1991
(with Scott Erickson)
Succeeded by
Kevin Brown & Jack Morris
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