Michael Otto has pitched at times for the German national team and started one of their most notable games ever.
Otto played for the German team in the 1996 European Junior Championship (4 R, 5 BB in 1 IP), 1997 European Junior Championship (.222/.375/.278, 11 K in 28 AB) and 1999 European Junior Championship (.333/.333/.733; 1-1, 3.24). In 2000, Mike was the top pitcher in the southern division of Bundesliga-1, going 9-2 with a 2.32 ERA for the Mainz Athletics. He led the division in ERA and possibly in strikeouts (88). That earned him a spring training invitation from the New York Mets in 2001; Otto would never get into a minor league game in the US, though.
Otto was 6-3 with a 1.69 ERA for Mainz in 2001. He was second in the southern Bundesliga-1 in ERA and led in lowest opponent average (.172). In his debut for the senior German national team, he had a 2.70 ERA in 3 appearances at the 2001 European Championship.
In 2002, Michael hit .344/.382/.625 for Mainz; on the mound, he was 6-3 with a 2.49 ERA. He again led the league in ERA. He tied for 7th in strikeouts (57), tied for 8th in wins and was 4th in WHIP (1.38). During the 2003 campaign, Otto fell to 6-3, 3.12. He was 6th in ERA, tied for 6th in strikeouts (60) and tied for 7th in wins. Positives were that he allowed the lowest average (.151) and led in K/IP (1.15). He was 0-1 with a 2.70 ERA in the 2003 European Championship.
Otto moved to the Fürth Pirates for 2004 and was 4-0 with a save and a 1.81 ERA, 5th in the league. In '05, he hit .267/.313/.400 and had a 8-4, 1.95 record. He was third in the southern Bundesliga-1 in ERA behind two foreign import players, was second with 98 strikeouts (2 behind leader Ryan Balan), led in WHIP (0.78, .24 ahead of Balan) and led in lowest average allowed (.167). Otto was 1-1 with a 3.95 ERA for Germany in the 2005 European Championship.
After apparently not pitching or seeing only limited time in 2006, Mike was with the Saarlouis Hornets in 2007. He was just 1-2 with a save and a 4.34 ERA in 37 1/3 IP. He still was added to the German squad for the 2007 Baseball World Cup and got the call against the Thai national team, their best hope for a win. He tossed 6 1/3 shutout frames, allowing two hits while fanning six. Unfortunately, Krissada Heebthong matched him goose egg for goose egg. Dirk Fries relieved Otto and picked up the 2-0 win, Germany's first win ever in a Baseball World Cup.
Due to back problems, Otto retired following the 2007 World Cup and coached for the Darmstadt Whippets in the 2nd division of Bundesliga in 2008. After several months of rehab, he decided to try a comeback in 2009 with the Mannheim Tornados.
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