James Vo Parque
- Bats Left, Throws Left
- Height 5' 11", Weight 170 lb.
- School University of California, Los Angeles
- High School Crescenta Valley High School
- Debut May 26, 1998
- Final Game May 21, 2003
- Born February 8, 1976 in Norwalk, CA USA
Jim Parque was selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round of the 1997 amateur draft. He pitched for the White Sox and Tampa Bay Devil Rays during a six-year major league career, and later pitched for the Seattle Mariners' triple-A affiliate. Parque was an essential piece of the White Sox rotation in 2000, when the team won the A.L. Central division.
As an amateur, Parque was a Baseball America first-team all-American and won a bronze medal for the United States at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He was inducted into the UCLA sports hall of fame in 2005.
Parque dominated opponents in single-A after being drafted by the White Sox. He skipped double-A entirely and pitched well enough in triple-A to earn a spot in the White Sox rotation in only his second season of professional baseball, making him the first player from the 1997 draft to reach the majors. Parque made his major league debut against the New York Yankees, allowing two runs in four innings. He finished the 1998 season with a 7-5 record and a 5.10 ERA.
Parque was 9-15 in his sophomore season, 1999 and his ERA rose to 5.13. Despite the poor statistics, Parque had a decent start to the season, and was 9-7 with a 3.92 ERA at the end of July.
2000 was Parque's breakout season, he won 13 games and lost only 6. He posted a 4.28 ERA and worked a career high 187.0 innings. The White Sox used Parque as their Game 1 starter in the ALDS against the Mariners, and he left the game in line for a victory. Parque's velocity was down in the game, and he later admitted that the playoff game spelled the beginning of the end for his career.
Parque pitched in only five games in 2001, before an injury forced him out for the remainder of the season. He made eight appearances in 2002 and five more with the Devil Rays in 2003. He left professional baseball in 2004, but returned to the Seattle Mariners organization in 2007. Parque spent the season with the Tacoma Rainiers, he posted a 7.80 ERA in 45.0 innings pitched.
On December 13, 2007, Parque's name surfaced in former senator George Mitchell's report on performance-enhancing drugs in baseball. Former New York Mets clubhouse assistant Kirk Radomski, a key witness in the investigation, claimed to have sold human growth hormone to Parque in 2003. Parque denied Radomski's statement, saying "Either someone isn’t telling the truth, or steroids really don't work because I was throwing 80, 81 mph before the report said I took them, and I was throwing 80, 81 mph after I allegedly took them".
Sources: Jim Parque Denies Using Steroids