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Saturday, September 4, 2021

John Doherty just wanted to play baseball; Played it in the bigs over five seasons

The strike still fresh from being over in April 1995, columnist Mitch Albom looked for a reason for people to give baseball another chance and he turned to Tigers hurler John Doherty.

Doherty, Albom wrote, was a major league pitcher who still acted like a kid.

"Look at me, I mean, whadda I need?" Doherty told Albom on the topic of living cheaply on the road.  "I wear sweatpants every day of my life. I don't own any $2,000 suits. If I'm running out of money, I tell my fiancee to bring some when she comes to visit me. 

"I just wanna play baseball, you know?" Doherty added to Albom.

Doherty saw his fourth season playing baseball in the bigs that year. He ended up just playing in one more.

Doherty's career began in 1989, taken by the Tigers in the 19th round of the draft out of Concordia College in New York.

Doherty started with the Tigers at short-season Niagara Falls. He saved 14 over 26 outings and had a 0.95 ERA.

He moved to single-A Fayetteville and high-A Lakeland for 1990, then AA London for 1991.

Then, for 1992, he made Detroit. On the cusp of making the majors that spring, the reliever spoke to The Lansing State Journal about his role.

"It really gives me kind of a rush," Doherty told The State Journal. "I love relief pitching - it just gets you fired up."

Doherty got into 47 games that year for the Tigers, starting 11. He went 7-4, with a 3.88 ERA and saved three.

He returned for 1993 and turned full-time starter. He went 14-11, with a 4.44 ERA over 32 outings, 31 starts. He went 6-7 over 17 starts in 1994, before returning to relief for 1995. He went 5-9 over 48 outings, two starts in 1995, with a 5.10 ERA.

Doherty moved to the Red Sox for 1996. He got into three early games, then finished out the season and his career at AA Trenton and AAA Pawtucket.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,731
Made the Majors:1,265-33.9%-X
Never Made Majors:2,466-66.1%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:523-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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