Alfred Gary Rath
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 6' 2", Weight 186 lb.
- School Mississippi State University
- High School Long Beach (MS) High School
- Debut June 2, 1998
- Final Game June 22, 1999
- Born January 10, 1973 in Gulfport, MS USA
Gary Rath is a pitcher who pitched 7 years in the United States (54-58), 3 in South Korea (40-25), two in Japan (6-13), one in an independent Latin American league, and one in Taiwan (12-5). His career record in professional baseball was 112-101 through 2007.
Rath was 7-5 with a 2.97 ERA for Mississippi State University in 1993. In 1994, Gary had a 10-3, 1.71 record. He struck out 141 in 116 innings, allowing 80 hits and 42 walks. He made the All-Southeastern Conference team and was named a first-team All-American by Baseball America and the American Baseball Coaches Association. Rath was 12th in NCAA Division I in ERA, 5th in strikeouts and 10th in K/9.
1994-1995: Dodgers prospect
Rath led the Dodgers chain in 1995 in both wins (16) and complete games (3). He was 13-3 with a 2.77 ERA for the San Antonio Missions and 3-5, 5.08 for the Albuquerque Dukes. He tied for fourth in the US-based affiliated minors in total wins. He tied for the Texas League lead in wins (even with Edwin Corps) and led in ERA, .08 ahead of Steve Bourgeois. Baseball America rated him the #7 prospect in the TL, right after George Arias. He was voted the second best starter in the TL for 1995, behind Bourgeois.
1996-1998: Stagnation in Albuquerque
Rath was 0-3 with a 4.50 ERA for the Peoria Javelinas in the 1995 Arizona Fall League season, then returned to the Dukes in 1996. His 180 innings led the LA minor leaguers, but he walked 89, leading the Pacific Coast League. He went 10-11 with a 4.19 ERA, the best of any of their starters. He finished three off the PCL lead in both wins and losses.
In 1997, Gary sputtered with Albuquerque. He was 7-11 with a 6.05 ERA. He only walked 49 in 132 1/3 IP but allowed 177 hits. In his fourth year with the Dukes in 1998, the 25-year-old had a 9-8, 4.52 record with one save. He allowed 184 hits in 157 1/3 IP and struck out 119. He made his big-league debut, throwing in three games of relief work for the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 10.80 ERA.
Rath was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Twins before the 1999 season. He spent most of the season with the Salt Lake Buzz, going 3-8 with a 5.62 ERA. He walked only 27 in 99 1/3 IP but allowed 129 hits. He made his final major league appearance with the Twins, pitching five games (one start) and going 0-1 with a 11.57 ERA; his major league ERA was 11.25 in his small 8-inning sample.
2000: One more year in the US
Rath started 2000 with the Trenton Thunder (0-1, 7.36 in 9 games out of the bullpen) before being let go. He moved to the independent leagues with the Long Island Ducks and had a 4-4, 4.78 record in 21 appearances.
2001-2005: South Korea and Japan
Rath signed with the Yomiuri Giants in 2003 and went 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA. He was one of the club's less successful starters, although he outperformed veteran starters Masumi Kuwata and Kimiyasu Kudoh.
Gary returned to South Korea in 2004 and had a great year with Doosan. His 2.60 ERA was second to teammate Myung-Hwan Park and his 17 wins (against 8 losses) tied MVP Yong-Soo Bae and Danny Rios for the Korea Baseball Organization lead.
Gary moved to the independent Venezuelan League in 2006, a minor loop, and dominated with a 18-3, 2.25 mark.
Rath signed with the La New Bears in 2007, and went 12-5 with a 3.52 ERA. He tied Hsien-Chih Chang for third in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in wins, behind Wei-Lun Pan and Peter Munro. He also finished 4th in strikeouts (117). Due to injury, he accomplished these rankings and did not throw a pitch after August 10th - a full two months before the season ended. His club went on to win the 2007 Taiwan Series with Nelson Figueroa taking Rath's role as foreign pitching star.
2008: Korea, take three
Rath signed with the Doosan Bears again for 2008. He was 3-2 with a 2.84 ERA to open the season before being surprisingly released.