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Richie Lewis

From BR Bullpen

Richie Todd Lewis

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Biographical Information[edit]

Richie Lewis played baseball at Muncie Southside High School in Indiana, where his father was the coach for many years. He then went on to attend Florida State University.

He was part of a very talented Team USA in the 1985 Intercontinental Cup that somehow finished only 2-5. Originally drafted by the Montreal Expos 44th overall in the 1987 amateur draft, Lewis spent a few years in the minors before making his big league debut. He played only two games professionally in 1987, both in AAA ball. He would prove to be a very valuable minor league player over the next few seasons, both as a starter and reliever. For example, he posted a 2.58 ERA in 1989 as a starter, and in 1990 with the Jacksonville Expos he posted a 1.26 ERA as a reliever.

He made his Major League debut on July 31, 1992 at the age of 26, having in the meantime been traded to the Baltimore Orioles: on August 24, 1991, he was traded by the Expos to the Orioles for minor leaguer Chris Myers, another high draft pick who had still not made the big leagues. Standing at the height of 5' 6" (although he was listed at 5' 10"), Lewis - who is one of the shortest players to pitch in the Majors in recent decades - pitched just over 4 innings in his debut (he started the game). He gave up 5 hits and walked 6, but he still managed to earn the win. On November 17, 1992, the Florida Marlins selected him as the 51st pick in the expansion draft.

He would mostly be used as a reliever for the rest of his career, with his best season being 1993. In 57 games, he posted a 3.26 ERA and 65 strikeouts. On March 22, 1996, he was traded by the San Diego Padres with Raul Casanova and Melvin Nieves to the Detroit Tigers for Sean Bergman, Todd Steverson, and minor leaguer Cade Gaspar. He pitched in a career-high 72 games in relief for the Tigers that season. Overall, he went 14-15 in his career, with 191 walks, 244 strikeouts and a 4.88 ERA in 217 games. Although his Major League career ended on June 4, 1998, he bounced around around professional baseball until 2003, including time spent in the Korea Baseball Organization. Both his debut and final appearances in the big leagues were with the Orioles, although he only pitched four times for the Birds.

He was the pitching coach for the Columbus Catfish in 2006.

In 2016, he appeared on the Dr. Phil television program in an episode about his alcohol and depression issues. He died in 2021 at the age of 55.

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