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Saturday, January 9, 2021

Don Florence went out there and held them over nine pro seasons; Made bigs for 14 games with Mets

Originally published Jan. 10, 2014
In his 10th major league outing in September 1995, Don Florence picked up his third win. All three of those wins were picked up in relief.

After that third win, Florence tried to explain that success to The Associated Press.

"All you do is go out there and hold them, and hopefully score runs," Florence told The AP. "Luckily we've been scoring runs in the seventh through ninth innings lately."

Florence made the majors for the first time that year, in his eighth season as a pro. He got just one more season and he didn't return to the majors.

Florence's career began in 1988, signed by the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent, out of Manchester Memorial High School in New Hampshire. He was also credited by his formal name, Donald Florence.

Florence started with the Red Sox at single-A Winter Haven, staying there for 1988 and 1989. He began splitting time between starting and relieving, then focused on reliving. At Winter Haven in 1989, Florence got 51 outings, with a 2.88 ERA.

Florence made AA New Britain in 1990, then AAA Pawtucket in 1993. At Pawtucket in 1993, Florence went 7-8 over 57 relief outings, with a 3.36 ERA. He went two scoreless that April for one of those wins.

Florence played just one more year in the Red Sox system, without making it to Boston. For 1995, he signed with a new organization, the Mets, and he took off.

Starting the year at AAA Norfolk, Florence got into 41 games in relief, posting a sterling ERA of 0.96. In August, he got his call to Queens.

Florence picked up his first major league relief win in his second outing, going one inning without giving up a hit. In 14 total outings, Florence had an ERA of 1.50, picked up three wins to no losses.

Florence played one more season as a pro, at AAA Rochester with the Orioles, but he never returned to the majors.
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 191

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