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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bob Scanlan, Mexican Relief - 233

Check out the revisited Bob Scanlan feature from October 2011: Bob Scanlan, His Role

Bob Scanlan had already pitched in relief in the majors for six seasons by spring training 1997. He had spent part of the previous year with the Royals, but spring training ended and the Royals didn't want him.

With no other options, he went to Mexico and the Mexican Baseball League.

"You really have to want to stay in the game to go down there," Scanlan told the North County Times in 2006. "Some of the towns you stay in are really small, and it's a challenge just to find food. But it's similar to winter ball in the passion they have for the game. Guys play ball down there because they love to play baseball."

It worked. Within a month, Scanlan signed a minor league contract with the Padres, sent to AAA Las Vegas. He never got to San Diego as a player, but these days he's covering the Padres as a radio and TV broadcaster.

A 25th round draft pick by the Phillies in 1984, Scanlan made AAA in 1988 and returned in 1990 with AAA Scranton. In April 1991, Scanlan got what would lead to his first break. He was traded with Chuck McElroy to the Cubs for Mitch Williams.

Scanlan was called up to Chicago quickly, debuting May 7. It would be his busiest year. He pitched 111 innings, posting an ERA of 3.89. The Cubs kept him three seasons, trading him finally to the Brewers. His 1994 season was on pace to be his highest workload, until the strike cut his season short. During the strike, he served on the union's executive board.

After his stint in Mexico and Las Vegas, Scanlan made it back to the majors with the Astros in 1998, then the Brewers briefly in 2000 and the Expos in 2001. He hung on in the minors with the Yankees, Rockies and Astros systems until 2003.

His playing days over, Scanlan went right into broadcasting. He has his own Web site,, that lists where he can be heard, including on XM/Sirius.

1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 45/880 - 5.1%
Major Leaguers: 26 - 58%
Never Made the Majors: 19 - 42%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 10
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 16

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff, and I enjoyed catching up on past posts. I posted a small advertisement for your blog over at The Phillies Room this afternoon.