"I went through a lot to come back from the surgery," Parris told The AP, referring to his first one, "so naturally I'm worried there's something wrong. I hope that's not the case."
It was the case. And he underwent another surgery on that shoulder. But, as he came back from the first surgery to debut in the majors, he came back from the second one to continue that big league career in seven more seasons.
Parris' career began in 1989, taken by the Phillies in the fifth round of the draft, out of the University of St. Francis in Illinois.
With the Phillies, Parris started at short-season Batavia, playing there in both 1989 and in 1990. He moved to high-A Clearwater in 1991, then made both AA Reading and AAA Scranton in 1992.
It was in 1993 that Parris underwent his first surgery, getting into just 10 games that season between Scranton and AA Jacksonville with the Mariners.
For 1994, Parris signed with the Pirates, playing at high-A Salem. He started 1995 at AA Carolina. In June, he debuted in Pittsburgh. He picked up his first major league win June 26 in his old backyard of Chicago.
"I had a good 100-150 people out there," Parris told The AP after that win. "They came from everywhere, and from different parts of my life."
Parris went 6-6 with the Pirates that year in 15 starts. He then came back from that second surgery by July 1996, getting eight outings, four starts with the Pirates.
After spending 1997 in the minors with the Reds, Parris returned to the majors in 1998, in Cincinnati. He got 18 outings for the Reds that year, 16 starts. He went 6-5, with a 3.73 ERA.
For 1999, Parris went 11-4, with a 3.50 ERA, over 21 starts. That June, he picked up a win going seven innings, giving up a single hit.
That October, Parris was given the ball for the one-game playoff with the Mets for a postseason spot. Parris didn't make it out of the third, giving up three runs in 2.2 innings of work as the Reds lost.
"I never really got a good rhythm going," Parris told The Cincinnati Enquirer afterward.
Parris continued to play into 2003, sticking with the Reds through 2000, then playing two seasons with Toronto and one with Tampa Bay.
Coming back for the Reds in 2000, Parris slumped to a 5-14 record. But he finished strong, picking up seven-straight wins, before losing his final three. After the sixth win of that streak, Parris tried to put that 5-14 record from earlier that season, and his efforts to come back, in perspective speaking to The AP.
"A lot of people were writing me off and I don't blame them," Parris told The AP during that win streak. "I was 5-14. But I've faced tougher things than being 5-14. I've had a couple of surgeries and I went back to A-ball. Those things were a lot tougher than being 5-14."
- Youngstown Vindicator, Associated Press, June 27, 1995: Perseverance pays off for Pirate
- Youngstown Vindicator, Associated Press, March 4, 1996: Rookie may pitch way into rotation
- Cincinnati Enquirer, Oct. 5, 1999: Magic runs out against Al Leiter
- Williamson Daily News, Associated Press, Sept. 10, 2000: Parris gets sixth consecutive win
Made the Majors: 677 - 57.6%-X
Never Made Majors: 499-42.4%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 292-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 174