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Monday, October 24, 2022

Lance Painter learned enough to pitch in the majors over a decade, later coach

Lance Painter made his major league debut in May 1993 and it didn't go as well as he'd hoped - he gave up six runs and 12 hits in 4.1 innings, The Associated Press wrote.

But Painter looked ahead, as well as behind, afterward.

"I made them put the ball in play and that's what they did," Painter told The AP then. "I learned from what happened tonight. I'm not going to be intimidated by anything."

Painter learned enough then and later to continue on in the majors nearly each year over the next decade. He didn't make his last pitch in the majors until 2003.

Painter's career began in 1990, taken by the Padres in the 25th round of the draft out of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Painter started with the Padres at short-season Spokane. He made single-A Waterloo in 1991, then AA Wichita for 1992.

The Rockies then took him in the expansion draft and he started 1993 at AAA Colorado Springs, before getting his May call-up to Colorado.

That August in 1993, Painter returned to Colorado after a AAA stint and pitched a five-hitter for his first big league victory. 

"I really didn't know if I would get back here," Painter told The AP after that win. "Now that I did, I had to show something today."

Painter saw 10 major league outings that first year, six starts. He went 2-2, with a 6.00 ERA.

He then returned to Colorado for 15 outings in 1994, 33 in 1995 and 34 in 1996. He went 4-2 in 1996, with a 5.86 ERA. 

Painter moved to the Cardinals off waivers for 1997. He saw 14 games that year due to injuries, then jumped to 65 relief appearances for 1998.

By May 1998, he'd turned in five-straight scoreless outings for the Cardinals, after a slow start to the year, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote.

"You wonder sometimes if they're going to lose faith in you," Painter told The Post-Dispatch then. "But I knew I hadn't lost faith in myself."

Painter saw another 56 outings with  the Cardinals in 1999 and 42 with the Blue Jays in 2000. He finished out his career with 23 outings between the Blue Jays and Brewers in 2001 and 22 final outings with the Cardinals in 2003 to end his career.

Painter then went on to a career as a coach. He coached at single-A Wisconsin in 2006 and most recently is credited as serving as pitching coach at AAA Tacoma from 2016 to 2019.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,056
Made the Majors:1,347-33.2%-X
Never Made Majors:2,709-66.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:548
10+ Seasons in the Minors:333

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