Pat Hentgen

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Patrick George Hentgen

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Biographical Information[edit]

Pat Hentgen was signed by the Toronto Blue Jays and scout Don Welke as a 5th round pick in the 1986 amateur draft.

Hentgen won six straight games for the Blue Jays in 1997 and was named the July Pitcher of the Month in the American League. At one point in 1996, he threw five complete games in a row, on his way to winning the Cy Young Award. He went 20-10, 3.22 that season and finished ahead of Andy Pettitte of the New York Yankees in the voting.

He first came up to the Blue Jays late in the 1991 season, then spent 1992 as a long reliever with the team. The Blue Jays went on to win their first World Series title that year, but he wasn't used in the postseason. In 1993, he was moved to the starting rotation and had an excellent year, going 19-9, 3.87. The Jays repeated as division champions and he started Game 3 of the ALCS against the Chicago White Sox on October 8th. Things did not go well as he allowed 6 runs in 3 innings and was charged with a 6-1 loss, but he did better in the World Series against the Philadelphia Phillies. In Game 3, he allowed just 1 run in 6 innings and was credited with a 10-3 win. He had another good season in 1994, going 13-8, 3.40 in 24 games, but he slumped badly in 1995, finishing at 10-14, 5.11. He was an AL All-Star in both 1993 and 1994.

1996 and 1997 were two more excellent seasons for him, and he returned to the Midsummer Classic in 1997, finishing that year at 15-10, 3.68. However, the Blue Jays were slipping further and further away from their years of dominating the AL East by that point, even with the addition of Roger Clemens who took his mantle as the team's ace pitcher in 1997. In 1998, he slipped to 12-11, 5.17, then in 1999 he had another mediocre season, finishing at 11-12, 4.79.

Following the 1999 season, the Blue Jays traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals along with Paul Spoljaric in return for three players, none of which ever did much for Toronto. In St. Louis, Hentgen was back on a winning team and had his final strong season in 2000, going 15-12, 4.73 in 33 starts. It was a time when offensive numbers were through the roof, so his ERA was actually almost league average. He returned to the postseason one final time, but his only start went poorly, as he gave up 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings against the New York Mets in Game 5 of the 2000 NLCS, being charged with a 7-0 loss. He became a free agent after that season and signed a lucrative deal with the Baltimore Orioles, but he was never able to help them much, as he went 9-15, 4.26 in three seasons, missing large chunks of both 2001 and 2002 to injuries. In 2004, he returned to Toronto for one last hurrah, but he had little left by that point, ending up at 2-9, 6.95 in 18 games and making his final appearance on July 21st. Overall, he went 131-112, 4.32 in 14 major league seasons.

He mainly threw a rising fastball and a curveball.

Hentgen returned to the Jays as a member of the coaching staff, serving as the Bullpen Coach, for the 2011 season and again in 2013. He decided not to return for 2014, as he requested less onerous duties within the organization in order to be able to spend time with his seriously ill father.

He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its 2016 class.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 3-time AL All-Star (1993, 1994 & 1997)
  • AL Cy Young Award Winner (1996)
  • 2-time AL Innings Pitched Leader (1996 & 1997)
  • 2-time AL Complete Games Leader (1996 & 1997)
  • 2-time AL Shutouts Leader (1996 & 1997)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 4 (1993, 1996, 1997 & 2000)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1996)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 4 (1993& 1995-1997)
  • Won two World Series with the Toronto Blue Jays (1992 & 1993; he did not play in the 1992 World Series)

AL Cy Young Award
1995 1996 1997
Randy Johnson Pat Hentgen Roger Clemens

Related Sites[edit]