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Thursday, January 28, 2021

David Sommer hoped for a no-hitter to win bet with dad; Saw five pro seasons, passed away in 2019

West Palm Beach hurler David Sommer wanted the no-hitter for the accomplishment, of course, but also for his father, he told The Palm Beach Post after this 1990 game.

His father played fast-pitch softball and they'd had a bet on who'd throw one first, he told The Post after he went six and two-thirds before giving up a hit.

"I was hoping I'd be able to call him and tell him he owed me dinner," Sommer told The Post.

Sommer threw that near gem in his fourth pro season. He went on to play in one more. He topped out at AA.

Sommer's career began in 1986, taken by the Cubs in the 27th round of the draft out of St. Martin's College.

He graduated from Capital High School in Olympia, Wash., where he won all-state honors in baseball and all-league in basketball. He then played both sports at St. Martin's.

Sommer started with the Cubs at rookie Wytheville. He went 0-2, with a 4.15 ERA over four outings, two starts. He then returned to Wytheville for 1987 and went 3-6, with a 4.86 ERA over 16 outings, nine starts.

He's not recorded as playing in 1988, but returned for 1989 with the Expos at short-season Jamestown. He went 6-4 there over 13 starts, with a 1.68 ERA.

Sommer then moved to high-A West Palm Beach for 1990. He went 11-4 on the year, with a 2.37 ERA.

That August, the Expos rewarded him with a spot in the Hall of Fame game in Cooperstown, one of two minor leaguers to be selected for the game. "It's quite an honor," Sommer told The Longview Daily News

Sommer went to the Mexican League that winter to work on his change-up, though he returned home early due to the playing conditions, The Arizona Republic wrote.

The Expos then sent Sommer on to the Mets in a trade for 1991. Expos GM Dave Dombroski told The Post after the trade that Sommer got included to complete the deal.

"We like Sommer," Dombrowski told The Post. "He pitched well at West Palm Beach and has a good arm."

Sommer then played 1991 at AA Williamsport. He got into 22 games, 20 starts, and went 4-7, with a 4.37 ERA. That season marked his last as a pro.

He soon went into real estate, working with his father as an agent and a property manager. He then moved to Arizona, started a family, coached his children and became a bailiff

He passed away in July 2019 at the age of 52 from complications of hip replacement surgery.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,566
Made the Majors:1,235-34.6%
Never Made Majors:2,331-65.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:513
10+ Seasons in the Minors:305

1 comment:

  1. I saw a lot of Eastern league baseball in the early 90's and met many of the players so I'm enjoying these bios. I remember Sommer when he pitched for Williamsport in 1991. Didn't realize he'd passed, what a shame. Hard to believe I saw him play 30 years ago!