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Jim Mecir
Pitcher
Born: May 16, 1970 (1970-05-16) (age 39)
Queens, New York
Batted: Switch Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 4, 1995 for the Seattle Mariners
Last MLB appearance
September 28, 2005 for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
Win-Loss Record     29-35
ERA     3.77
Strikeouts     450
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • 2003 Tony Conigliaro Award

James Jason Mecir (born on May 16, 1970 in Queens, New York) is an American former baseball player. He played for five teams in an 11-year career, and retired from the Florida Marlins in 2005. He is a right-handed pitcher.

Mecir is notable for having overcome a birth defect (namely club feet) to become an effective Major League pitcher, as well as for being the last pitcher to regularly throw a screwball. He spent 4½ years as a member of the Oakland Athletics, and is prominently mentioned in Michael Lewis's bestselling book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.

Career

Mecir was drafted by the Seattle Mariners from Eckerd College in the third round of the 1991 amateur draft. He played for the Seattle Mariners in 1995, the New York Yankees in 1996 and 1997, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1998 to 2000, the Oakland Athletics from 2001 to 2004, before spending the last year of his career with the Marlins. He announced his retirement on October 2, 2005, following the Marlins' last game of the season.

Adversity

In 2003, Mecir received the Tony Conigliaro Award, given annually to the player who most effectively overcomes adversity to succeed in baseball. Mecir was born with two club feet; despite several childhood surgeries that enabled him to walk, he was left unable to properly push off the rubber with his right foot, which was two cleat sizes smaller than his left. He was forced to develop an unorthodox delivery that gave him an unusually violent screwball. He was one of the last screwball pitchers active in the major leagues.

Mecir was inadvertently the subject of attention which began on May 15, 2005. On that Sunday, Mecir pitched poorly in a game against the Padres, and ESPN analyst John Kruk cited Mecir's limp (not knowing about his birth defect) when Mecir walked to the mound. Kruk presented this as evidence that the Marlins were negligent for asking Mecir to pitch (while Mecir appeared to be injured). Kruk came under heavy public criticism for being insensitive, even though Kruk was unaware. However, Mecir did not take offense when informed of the remark.

External links

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