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Where the 15 Minutes of Fame Never End
I saw a fellow who looked to be in his mid-20’s yesterday who had on a Frank Castillo Red Sox t-shirt. It was a name I hadn’t thought of in years, and all I
could ever remember about him was how much he would piss me off to watch pitch. His name always comes up when playing a game of “Name everyone who appeared on the ’04 Red Sox World Series team,” usually right after Ellis Burks.
Frank Castillo had three solid seasons in Major League Baseball. Unfortunately for him, he also had ten mediocre ones. The El Paso, Texas-born pitcher was drafted by the Cubs in 1987 and made his debut for Chicago in June of 1991. Castillo spent parts of seven seasons in the Windy City. The wind must have been blowing out most of the time. His best season came in 1995 when he went 11-10 with a 3.21 ERA. During that season Castillo came within one out of throwing a no-hitter at Wrigley Field against the Cardinals. With two outs in the top of the ninth, fellow obscure athlete Bernard Gilkey roped a line drive to left that got by Sammy Sosa and slowly rolled to the fence. The no-hitter, and so too Frank Castillo’s chance at baseball immortality, were over.
From 1997-2000, Castillo played for four different teams. In 2001 the Red Sox brought in Castillo, and in that season he put up a Castillo-like 10-9 record with a 4.21 ERA in 136 2/3 innings. In 2004, Castillo pitched exactly one inning for Boston in time split between Boston and their AAA Affiliate, Pawtucket. That inning earned Castillo a World Series ring as part of the ’04 team.
The Marlins brought in Castillo in 2005, but he was simply unable to recapture the magic that made him a marginally talented Major League pitcher, and started only one game. Castillo ended his Big League career with an 82-104 career record and a 4.56 ERA. Frank Castillo, if you ever read this, I hated watching you pitch, but you’re a friend of Obscure Athletes. And a World Series Champion. And the subject of today’s Obscure Spotlight.