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Rick Helling
Starting pitcher
Born: December 15, 1970 (1970-12-15) (age 39)
Devils Lake, North Dakota
Batted: Right Threw: Right 
MLB debut
April 10, 1994 for the Texas Rangers
Last MLB appearance
September 9, 2006 for the Milwaukee Brewers
Career statistics
Win-Loss     93-81
Earned run average     4.68
Strikeouts     1,058
Career highlights and awards

Ricky Allen Helling (born December 15, 1970, in Devils Lake, North Dakota) is a former pitcher in Major League Baseball.


High school and college

Helling attended Lakota High School in Lakota, North Dakota for three years, before graduating from Shanley High School in Fargo, North Dakota. He was a letterman in football, basketball, and baseball. In football, he was a three-time All-Conference honoree.

Writer Chuck Klosterman attended a basketball camp with Helling and once wrote "He was the single worst person I'd ever met. Every summer, I constantly scan the sports section of USA Today, always hoping that he'll get shelled. This is what drives me. I cannot live in a world where Helling's career ERA hovers below 5.00, yet all I do for a living is type. As long as Rick Helling walks this earth, I shall never sleep soundly?"[1]

Helling played college ball at Stanford University and was selected by the Texas Rangers in the 1st round of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft.

Pro career

Helling was an early critic of performance enhancing drugs in Major League Baseball, warning the Players Union as early as 1998 that drugs were a problem in the sport; he served as a Union Executive Board Member from 1999-2007[2].

Helling was a member of two World Series Championship teams: the 1997 World Series Champion Florida Marlins and the 2003 World Series Champion Florida Marlins. However, he has only one World Series Championship ring: he was traded to the Texas Rangers earlier in the 1997 season and did not participate in the Marlins' World Series win that year.

In 1998 he won five straight games on the road; no Texas pitcher matched that accomplishment again until Scott Feldman surpassed it in 2009.[3] Helling had his best season by far in 1998 going 20-7, tying for the American League lead in wins with David Cone and Roger Clemens. His 11 road victories in 1998 set a club record, later matched by Vincente Padilla (2008) and surpassed by Scott Feldman (2009).[4][5][6]

On June 20, 2006, Helling struck out three batters on nine pitches — Curtis Granderson, Plácido Polanco and Iván Rodríguez — in the first inning of a 10-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Helling became the 38th pitcher in major league history to throw an immaculate inning.

On February 5, 2007, he announced his retirement to spend more time with his family.[7]

Life After Retirement

On March 17, 2009, he was hired as a special assistant to the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, Donald Fehr.[8]

He currently resides in the Twin Cities of Minnesota.

See also


External links

Preceded by
Roger Clemens
American League Wins Champion
(with Roger Clemens & David Cone)
Succeeded by
Pedro Martínez


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