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Saturday, March 20, 2010

David Pavlas, Older the Better- 81

Read the revisited Dave Pavlas feature from September 2012. Dave Pavlas, That Feeling 

When David Pavlas signed with the Cubs in 1984 out of Rice University, he had no illusions of a long career.

"I figured it would last a couple years," Pavlas told his hometown paper The Victoria Advocate in 2002, "but I was going to give it a shot. I kept thinking this would be my last year and now, 18 years later, it's finally a reality."

That spring would be Pavlas' first out of baseball since he signed that initial contract. But it wasn't a steady trip through to retirement, one that The Advocate calculated took him through 12 organizations, playing in seven countries.

Pavlas even got himself a World Series ring with the Yankees in 1996, pitching in 16 games in August and September. He didn't pitch in the Series itself.

Pavlas showed early promise in the Cubs system, going 14-6 at single A Winston-Salem in 1986 and 6-1 the next at AA Pittsfield. Then the Cubs dealt him to Texas in exchange for Mike Mason.

He made it to AAA Oklahoma City in 1988, the Cubs took him back for 1990. That's the year he made his major league debut, taking the mound for the first time Aug. 21.

Then came the Braves and Pirates systems, and a couple years in Mexico.

Mexico, Pavlas told Nashville Scene in 2000, "was the true test of whether you wanted to play baseball."

In spring 1995, with 16 big league games under his belt, Pavlas attempted to get back through replacement ball. He did get back to the majors that year, for the first time since 1991, but his reception was different.

He pitched in four games for the Yankees that year, a year the Yankees made the post season. He had to wait for a player vote to see if he got a share of postseason money. He was the only replacement player to be voted a share. He received $250.

Pavlas played in Japan in 1997 for the Yomiuri Giants. He played 1998 with the Oakland and Arizona systems, rounding out his career back with the Yankees and Pirates systems. At one point, he even played in Taiwan.

"It just seemed like every year I never lost interest or desire to keep playing," Pavlas told The Advocate. "The older I got, the better I got. I just kept going."
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 83/880 - 9.4%
Made the Majors: 48 - 58%
Never Made the Majors: 35 - 42%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 17
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 28

1 comment:

  1. "Bubby" was my best friend growing up. I visited and worked with him in Shiner, Texas. He was my role model and hero. One hell of a baseball player, artist, worker and friend. I love him still and I wish I could get in touch with him.