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Sunday, June 27, 2021

Erik Plantenberg got John Olerud out for the Mariners; Saw three ML campaigns

Mariners rookie reliever Erik Plantenberg got John Olerud to ground out in this August 1993 game, albeit knocking in a run in the process, The Associated Press wrote.

For Plantenberg, three weeks into his major league career, the situation proved notable as he'd already faced Olerud many times, as they grew up near each other in Washington State, The AP wrote.

"I faced him probably 50 times since I was 13," Plantenberg told The AP. "He was probably 30-for-30 with 20 walks. I don't think I ever got him out."

Plantenberg went on to get major league hitters out over three seasons, and in 61 major league games. He continued playing professionally for 11 total campaigns and last saw the majors with the Phillies in 1997.

Plantenberg's career began in 1990, taken by the Red Sox in the 16th round of the draft out of San Diego State.

Plantenberg started with the Red Sox at short-season Elmira. He went 2-3 over 16 outings, five starts, with a 4.02 ERA.

He moved to high-A Lynchburg for 1991 and 1992, then to the Mariners and AA Jacksonville and AAA Calgary for 1993. He also debuted in Seattle late that July.

Plantenberg got into 20 games for the Mariners and saw 9.2 total innings of work. He ended with a 6.52 ERA. He then returned for another six outings in 1994. He saw 7 innings and he didn't give up an earned run.

He moved to the Padres system in 1995, then the Indians system for 1996, but he didn't see the bigs

He then moved to the Phillies system for 1997. He returned to the majors that April and he stayed until late June. In 35 relief outings, he turned in a 4.91 ERA.

Then, near the end of June, the Phillies sent him down. Plantenberg wasn't sure he'd accept the assignment to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but, after testing the waters elsewhere, he reported to AAA, The Scranton Tribune wrote.

"I felt if I came down here and do what I'm supposed to do, there's no reason why I can't get called back up," Plantenberg told The Tribune.

But Plantenberg didn't make the bigs again that year or ever. Plantenberg moved through the Giants, Orioles Devil Rays, Marlins and Astros systems. He last played in 2000, spending time at AAA with the Astros and Mariners, then at two independent clubs, to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,682
Made the Majors:1,255-34.1%-X
Never Made Majors:2,427-65.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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