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Ryan Dempster

Chicago Cubs — No. 46
Starting pitcher
Born: May 3, 1977 (1977-05-03) (age 32)
Sechelt, British Columbia
Bats: Right Throws: Right 
MLB debut
May 23, 1998 for the Florida Marlins
Career statistics
(through 2009 season)
Win-Loss     87-90
Earned run average     4.44
Strikeouts     1,366
Saves     87
Career highlights and awards

Ryan Scott Dempster (born May 3, 1977, in Sechelt, British Columbia) is a Major League Baseball starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.

Dempster bats and throws right-handed. He had a win-loss record of 76-81, and an ERA of 4.55 in 420 games (195 starts) through the 2008 season.


Professional career

He was drafted by the Texas Rangers and was traded to the Florida Marlins. He has played for the Marlins (1998-2002), Cincinnati Reds (2002-2003), and Chicago Cubs (2004-present). In August 2003, he underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow and made a miraculous recovery from the surgery, taking a little under a year to recover from it, coming back in the last half of 2004 to pitch for the Cubs. In 2005, after starting 6 games, Dempster was named the closer for the Cubs, replacing LaTroy Hawkins.

He collected 33 saves in 35 opportunities, the best save percentage in the league; in both blown saves, he collected the win. He is the only Cub and one of just three players ever to both start a game and collect 30 saves in the same season. On October 1, 2005, the Cubs signed him through 2008 in a US$15.5 million contract extension. [1][2]



He emerged as one of the team's most consistent relievers in 2007. At one point, Lou Pinella, the Cubs' manager, was considering promoting Dempster to a starting pitcher. [3] However, the idea was short lived, as a struggling bullpen forced Dempster to remain as closer. He recorded 16 saves in 18 opportunities before missing two weeks of playtime on account of an injured oblique muscle.[2]


During 2008 spring training, Dempster's performance earned him a promotion to the third spot on the starting rotation, with the closer job going to Kerry Wood. On April 3, 2008, he earned his first win as a home starter since a 2002 win with the Marlins against the Cubs.[4] On May 15, 2008, Dempster recorded a career high 12 strikeouts in a game. He pitched 8 1/3rd innings, and gave up only 6 hits. On July 8, 2008 he became the first Cubs pitcher in 31 seasons to start 10-0 at home.[5] Dempster finished the season with 17-6 record, with 2.96 ERA and 183 strikeouts in 201 and 2/3 innings. Dempster threw sliders 32.9% of the time in 2008, more than any other NL starting pitcher.[4]

Dempster opened the Cubs 2008 postseason campaign against the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 26, 2008.[6] Dempster accumulated a high pitch count early and, after he was unable to get outs with 0-2 counts twice, he surrendered a grand slam to James Loney and was pulled in favor of Sean Marshall.

He led the majors in sacrifice hits, with 19.[5]

Following the 2008 season, Dempster re-signed with the Cubs for four years and a reported $52 million. [7]


In May 2009 MLB indicated that the Commissioner's Office would review Dempster's up-and-in pitch to Milwaukee Brewers slugger Ryan Braun. Cubs manager Lou Piniella commented, "You've got to tie Braun up from time to time. If you don't, he's going to feast on you."[8] After reviewing the tapes, however, Major League Baseball found no wrongdoing on Dempster's part, and decided not to take any action against him.[6]

Personal life

Dempster is widely known for his laid-back attitude, constantly joking with fans and teammates, and is said to be a positive contribution to a team's clubhouse. Dempster's fun and easy-going personality was especially evident when, in comments to an Arizona newspaper in March 2007, Dempster stated that if his career as a closer began to tumble, he would pursue ninja training.[9]

When asked what would happen if the Cubs won the World Series, Dempster jokingly commented,"I'd say the top of the Budweiser building blows off. People storm the field. Huge chunks of ivy are ripped off the walls. Police cars are turned over on Addison, on Waveland, on Sheffield, and you can't walk within a 45-block radius of Wrigley Field because people will be drinking there for seven to 10 days. What a great feeling."[10] He is also known for his Harry Caray impression. Most notably, he announced the Cubs' starting lineup while speaking like an elderly Caray (post-stroke) before a nationally televised baseball game on Fox Sports.

In early June 2009, Dempster released a statement explaining that his daughter, Riley Dempster, had DiGeorge Syndrome, also known as Velo-cardio-facial syndrome (VCFS), 22q11 deletion syndrome, and Shprintzen syndrome (after Dr. Robert Shprintzen who identified it in 1978). About 1 baby in 1800 is born with this genetic deletion which ubiquitously affects swallowing, breathing, and speech. Dempster did this because he wanted to help raise awareness of this genetic disease. When asked if she would lead a normal life, he replied, "Yeah, she will. There can be (problems), but so far all the signs are good. There’s a lot of work to do. They say there are 186 symptoms you can have. You just check off ones as you go along" After roughly 2 months in the hospital, Riley was able to go home in early June.[11]

He is a resident of Denver. [12]

Awards and honors

See also


  1. ^ Associated Press (October 1, 2005). "Cubs give Dempster three-year, $15.5M extension". Retrieved December 15, 2008.  
  2. ^ a b "Cubs forced to shelve Ryan Dempster". CBC Sports. June 26, 2007. Retrieved December 15, 2008.  
  3. ^ Associated Press (May 21, 2007). "Lou changes mind, keeps Dempster in Cubs' bullpen". Retrieved December 15, 2008.  
  4. ^ Rough inning doesn't doom Dempster -
  5. ^ "Dempster wins first 10 of 2008 at home as Cubs beat up Reds". Retrieved December 15, 2008.  
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Zaccardi, Nick (November 18, 2008). "Cubs, Dempster agree to four-year deal Base contract of $52 million keeps All-Star where he wants to be". Retrieved December 15, 2008.  
  8. ^ Wittenmyer, Gordon (May 13, 2009). "CUBS IN BRIEF: Ruling on Bradley's suspension expected today". Chicago Sun-Times.,CST-SPT-cubnt13.article. Retrieved May 13, 2009.  
  9. ^ Trotto, Sarah (March 21, 2007). "Cubs closer has goals: save 50 games, learn to use nunchucks". Arizona Daily Star. Retrieved December 15, 2008.  
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ "Chicago Cubs’ Ryan Dempster and infant daughter fight rare disease". June 08th, 2009, Chicago Tribune. Retrieved on July 12th, 2009.
  12. ^ [3]

External links


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