Obscure Athletes

Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End

Obscure Spotlight: Glendon Rusch

Glendon Rusch is a great example of who comes to mind when I think about pitchers who seemed to always be around, but put up stats that make you wonder how he sustained such a long career. Rusch has a 67-99 career record with a 5.04 ERA,

Rusch seen tipping his hat to a no-doubt sparse crowd after a no-doubt dazzling start

numbers that remained consistently obscure  through his 12 seasons in the big leagues. The Seattle-born pitcher made his Major League debut for the Royals in April of 1997, and almost immediately solidified himelf as one of the most stunningly mediocre pitchers in baseball. Rusch made 27 starts in that ’97 campaign, going 6-9 with a 5.50 ERA–numbers that would land most young major league starters in the bullpen.

Rusch wasn’t done being a back-end-of-the-rotation hero in KC, though. He followed that rookie season with a dismal 6-15 record, complete with a 5.88 ERA in 24 starts. Numbers like these would have been enough to run most pitchers with numbers so forgettable out of the majors .Yet Rusch managed to stick around through those seasons in Kansas City.

The following three seasons saw Rusch land in New York to play for the Mets, before making stops with the Brewers and Cubs, where in 2004 he put up his most effective season, going 6-2 with a 3.47 ERA, mostly out of the bullpen. It would be the only season in which Glendon Rusch put up an ERA better than 4.0. Rusch played briefly for the Padres before ending up in Colorado in 2009. There he went 2-0 in 11 innings out of the bullpen but with an era of 6.75,  before being designated for assignment by the Rockies. Rusch currently plays independent league baseball, and he’s yet to return to the Majors. Here’s hoping one day he does.

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