Monday, January 9, 2017

Mike Ignasiak, His Due - 16

Originally published Nov. 28, 2015
Milwaukee Brewers reliever Mike Ignasiak picked a good time to notch a win in September 1993. He picked up this relief win against his home state's Detroit Tigers - at Tiger Stadium, according to The Milwaukee Sentinel.

"I had about 50 people here," Ignasiak told The Sentinel afterward. "That was half my family and half the crowd. I'll remember this one for a while."

That win turned out to be Ignasiak's third in the majors over parts of two seasons with the Brewers. He went on to pitch in two more seasons for Milwaukee, amassing a total of 79 career major league appearances and 10 major league wins.

Ignasiak has since gone on to a career as a restaurant owner and a career in amateur golf.

Ignasiak's baseball career began 1988, taken by the Brewers in the eighth round of the draft out of the University of Michigan.

Ignasiak started his Michigan career with two March 1985 road wins, according to The Michigan Daily.

"I think I did well for my first time in a Michigan uniform," Ignasiak told The Daily. "I've come a long way since last fall but there's still a lot of room for improvement."

Ignasiak soon improved enough to be a pro prospect. The Cardinals took him in the fourth round of the 1987 draft, he then signed with the Brewers after being taken in the eight round of the 1988 draft.

Ignasiak started with the Brewers at rookie Helena and single-A Beloit. He went 4-4 overall in 16 outings, nine starts, with a 2.78 ERA.

He then moved to single-A Stockton for 1989 and then hit AA El Paso in 1990. He played most of 1991 at AAA Denver, then made major league Milwaukee that August.

Ignasiak got into four games for the Brewers that August and September. He made his major league debut Aug. 22, after sitting with the big club nearly two weeks without getting into a game, according to The Sentinel.

Over 12.2 total innings in four outings that year, Ignasiak gave up eight earned and won twice. His first win came in his first major league outing, a 2.1-inning stint against Toronto.

Ignasiak spent 1992 back at AAA Denver. His next major league time came in 1993, with 27 relief outings. He had a 3.65 ERA and that one win.

He then got into another 23 games in 1994 and 25 in 1995. He picked up a total of seven wins those two seasons. He started five games in 1994 and received praise after turning in two solid starts to begin his year.

"Let's give 'Iggy' his due," Brewers manager Phil Garner told The Sentinel. "He's come up here and done the job. Some guys couldn't do what he did. He has pitched great."

Ignasiak's final major league time came in 1995. He signed with the Red Sox for 1996, but injured his back, ending his career.

He then returned home to Michigan and bought a Dairy Queen in Saline. He also took up golf, winning some local championships and even playing in two U.S. Mid-Amateur Championships, according to The Ann Arbor News. He also made the 2013 Mid-Amateur.

"Golf is just like pitching," Ignasiak told The News in June 2008, "you've got to focus on everything you're doing ... mentally, the strategy involved ... everything."

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