Juan Eichelberger

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Juan Tyrone Eichelberger

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pitching for the San Diego Padres, Juan Eichelberger threw a complete game to get his first big league win in September 1979. In spite of having an Hispanic first name and a German last name, he was in fact African-American. He had two very solid seasons back-to-back for the Padres, going 4-2, 3.65 in 15 games in 1980, and then 8-8, 3.50 in the strike-shortened 1981 season, when he was the team's pitching ace. His iffy control was a problem, however, as he walked more batters than he struck out in 1980, and had a poor 81/74 K/W ratio in 141 1/3 innings in 1981. That weakness hurt him in 1982, when he finished with a record of 7-14, 4.20, with 72 walks against 74 Ks in 177 2/3 innings.

Eichelberger was traded to the Cleveland Indians with Broderick Perkins in return for P Ed Whitson before the 1983 season. However, he struggled even more that season, at 4-11, 4.90 in 28 games. After that season, he was out of the major leagues until 1988, when he returned for 20 games in relief with the Atlanta Braves. At age 34, he was 2-0, 3.86 in May and June, but finished the year with the AAA Richmond Braves and retired at the end of the season after the Braves released him.

In 1989, he played for the West Palm Beach Tropics of the Senior Professional Baseball Association and went 11-5 with a 2.90 ERA for the team. In 1990, Juan played for the Sun City Rays of the same league; he pitched in 5 games and was 1-3 with a 3.69 ERA until the league folded.

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