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Thursday, October 9, 2014

Jeff Heathcock, Special Win - 515

Originally published May 15, 2010
The Daytona Beach Astros won the night before and they won again this night, May 14, 1981. The latest win was on the back of hot-pitching prospect Jeff Heathcock, who struck out 13 and allowed only one run.

This win was extra special for the young right hander: his mother was there, seeing him pitch for the first time as a professional, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

"Maybe we'd better keep my mother around for a couple of weeks," Heathcock told The News-Journal. "She was here for last night's game, too."

However long his mother stayed, Heathcock was on his way to a 9-0, 1.27 ERA start for the single-A team and a promotion to AA before the end of the summer.

Heathcock was taken by the Astros in the first round of the 1980 June draft out of Oral Roberts University. Aside from pitching for Oral Roberts, Heathcock spent the summer of 1979 pitching in the Alaska League, for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots. He threw a four-hitter in one July game.

Heathcock spent the 1982 back at AA Columbus, then made AAA Tucson in 1983 then getting a taste of the majors as a September call-up to Houston.

When he made it to Houston in September 1983, Heathcock started off with his best stuff.

In his second major league appearance, on Sept. 10, Heathcock was called in to replace Bob Knepper in the second inning. He set down the first eight batters, according to a wire account. In 7.1 innings, Heathcock only gave up a single hit, getting his first major league win.

In six games that September, Heathcock went 2-1 with a 3.21 ERA in six appearances. But he didn't make it back to Houston until 1985, pitching in 14 games with another respectable 3.36 ERA.

His 1986 was again spent at AAA Tucson. Nineteen games with Houston in 1987 brought a 3.16 ERA. But his fourth and final year with Houston, 1988, was his worst, with a 5.81 ERA. He also went 0-5.

Heathcock stuck with the Astros system through 1989. For 1990, he signed on with the Angels, pitching in eight games at AAA Edmonton and his professional career was done.

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