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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Mark Hutton, Just Amazed - 4

Originally published Dec. 30, 2014
Mark Hutton's family took a trip to New York and Yankee Stadium. His parents even got him a Yankees jersey, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel wrote.

It was a story not unlike any other American kid. Hutton, though, wasn't American. He was from Australia.

"I don't even remember the game," Hutton told The Sun-Sentinel in May 1991 as he pitched for high-A Fort Lauderdale. "I was just amazed, looking everywhere, looking at everything going on. I was just sitting there watching a Major League Baseball game, just dreaming of playing for the Yankees. Next thing I know, I`m playing for them. In the minor leagues, anyway."

Soon Hutton would play for those Yankees in the major leagues. He would also become the first Australian pitcher to start a game in the major leagues - and he would do it at that very same Yankee Stadium he and his family visited when he was a kid.

Hutton's pro career began in 1988, signed by the Yankees as an undrafted free agent out of Westlakes High School in Australia.

Hutton played his first year at short-season Oneonta. In 12 starts, he went 6-2, with a 4.07 ERA. He then moved to single-A Greensboro in 1990, then Fort Lauderdale in 1991.

In 1992, Hutton made AA Albany-Colonie, getting 25 starts there and going 13-7. He picked up one of those wins in May, an eight-inning outing where he gave up no earned.

Hutton made AAA Columbus in 1993. That July, he was back in the Bronx. This time he was playing for the Yankees. He went eight innings in his major league debut. He only gave up one earned run.

"It's a great start. To be 1-0 in the big leagues, it's great," Hutton told The Associated Press afterward. "I guess it surprised me to be called up in a pennant race. This is totally incredible. There's not a word to explain it."

Hutton got into seven games for the Yankees that year, starting four of them. He ended with a 5.73 ERA and that one win.

He returned to the Yankees for two games in 1994, then didn't get back to the bigs until 1996. He got into 12 games for the Yankees, then he was traded to the Marlins. He got into 13 more games there.

Going into 1997, Hutton fought for a spot in the eventual world champion Marlins rotation.

"I was very pleased with the way I finished last year," Hutton told The AP early that spring. "The opportunity is there for me to be the fifth man. All I can do is the best of my abilities and the rest will take care of itself."

He made the club as a reliever, getting into 32 games and turning in a 3.78 ERA. He was traded near the deadline to Colorado for Craig Counsell.

Hutton pitched in eight games down the stretch for the Rockies. He then got into 10 games for the Reds in 1998, finishing out his major league career. He played one more season in the minors, with the Astros in 2000, ending his professional career.

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