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Saturday, February 4, 2017

John Gilligan, Caught Fishing - 19

John Gilligan came on in relief in this June 1991 game and helped his Salt Lake club to a win, The Deseret News wrote.

He did so through strikeouts, according to The News.

"I was hitting my spots," Gilligan told The News afterward. "It had a good break on it and caught people fishing."

Gilligan caught a few people fishing that summer for the unaffiliated Salt Lake, going on to win the league ERA title. He couldn't catch enough to return to an affiliated team. He played four seasons and never made it beyond rookie ball.

Gilligan's career began in 1990, taken by the Blue Jays in the 36th round of the draft out of the University of Southern Mississippi. He went to Southern Mississippi out of his native Billings, Mont.

At Southern Mississippi, Gilligan helped his club to the 1990 College World Series South Regional. In a mid-May game, Gilligan no hit Cincinnati for six innings before finally giving up some runs for the loss.

"Everything was going great," Gilligan told reporters afterward. "I was cruising along until I started steering pitches."

Gilligan started with the Blue Jays at rookie Medicine Hat. He got into 18 games, starting two. He went 1-6, with a 2.75 ERA.

Gilligan didn't return to the Blue Jays system for 1991. Instead, he signed with independent Salt Lake. He struck out three in the ninth inning of one July win and gave up a game-deciding double in another. He went 6-1 overall, with a 1.71 ERA. He saved six.

He returned to Salt Lake for 1992. He got into another 28 games, going 7-2, with a 2.25 ERA. He saved nine.

Gilligan's final pro season came in 1993 at independent Thunder Bay. In 19 final relief outings, he went 1-4, with a 5.08, ending his career.

In 2012, Gilligan made the Billings American Legion Program Hall of Fame.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,527
Made the Majors:1,014-40.1%
Never Made Majors:1,513-59.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 421
10+ Seasons in the Minors:259

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