Mar 9, 2011, 12:45 PM EDT
Brendan Donnelly has announced his retirement, ending what was a remarkable career for someone who didn’t reach the majors for the first time until age 30 and was never allowed to join the MLB players’ association.
Donnelly spent a decade in the minors pitching for six different organizations–and was a spring training replacement player during the 1994/1995 strike–before the Angels finally gave him a shot in 2002.
He thrived immediately, posting a 2.17 ERA in 50 innings to emerge as a key late-inning reliever on a World Series-winning team and then followed it up with a 1.58 ERA in 74 innings the next season while making the All-Star team with a ridiculous 0.38 first-half ERA.
Donnelly and his trademark goggles remained effective into his mid-30s and even showed flashes of his old dominant self for a brief stint with the Marlins as a 37-year-old in 2007, but injuries set him back numerous times and combined with the extremely late start to equal just 385 career innings (or 259 fewer than he threw in the minors).
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