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Friday, March 19, 2010

Dave Masters, Suspect Prospect - 77

Read the revisited Greatest 21 Days Dave Masters feature from September 2012, Dave Masters, Long Shot

Dave Masters was as accustomed to serving up fastballs as he was serving up cocktails during his playing career.

The pitcher, selected by the Cubs in the first round in 1985, worked as a bartender in the off season. It was out of necessity, he told the New York Times in 1989. The job of minor league pitcher didn't pay well.

''I don't know anyone in the minors who isn't really scraping financially just to exist,'' Masters told The Times. ''You always keep hoping you'll get called up to the majors. But you can go from prospect to suspect almost overnight.''

After a rocky start at single-A Winston-Salem, he went 1-11 with a 5.59 ERA, Masters made steady progress. He hit AA Pittsfield in 1987, making the Eastern League All Star team, then hit AAA Iowa in 1988.

He spoke to The Times July 5, 1989, after an injury that would place him on the shelf almost the entire year. The article was on athletes who went back to school. Masters at the time was attending De Paul, aiming for a degree in economics.

But he wouldn't need a degree just yet.

Masters returned to the mound in 1990, first with AAA Iowa. He then arrived in the Expos system, pitching at AA Jacksonville. The next year saw him with the Expos' AAA club in Indianapolis, then with the Giants, at AAA Phoenix.

It was in October 1991 that The Times caught back up with Masters, this time for a story on the University of California at Berkeley and its efforts at getting athletes back in school. Masters was to begin classes there that off season.

That schooling would soon come in handy. Masters tried for a spot on the Giants staff in spring training 1992, pitching four hitless innings in one outing. But he didn't make majors again.

Two more seasons, with the Giants system and the Mariners' and Masters was done, never making the big leagues.
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 82/880 - 9.3%
Made the Majors: 47 - 57%
Never Made the Majors: 35 - 43%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 17
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 27

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