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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eddie Zosky, First to Footnote - 812

Check out the revisited Eddie Zosky feature from September 2012, Eddie Zosky, Confidence Builder

On draft day 1989, Blue Jays sports writer Bob Elliott recalled a couple years ago with Slam! Sports, the story on the Jays No. 1 pick Eddie Zosky was already in the bag when they heard about the third round selection, John Olerud.

The later selections then wern't as public as they are now and what they heard of Olerud was intriguing, more so than Zosky. Olerud became the lead, Zosky a footnote.

In the long run, it turned out to be the correct choice. Olerud hit Toronto that September, never playing a game in the minors. Zosky played almost his entire career in the minors.

Zosky was taken by the Blue Jays 19th overall that draft out of Fresno State. Zosky arrived in AA Knoxville that year, AAA Syracuse in 1991. It was in September that year that Zosky made his own way to Toronto, playing 18 games and batting just .148.

Zosky returned for just eight games in 1992. In one, Sept. 16, the gulf between the Jays first and third rounders from 1989 was evident. Olerud hit the game-winning two-run home run in the 10th. Zosky had already been taken out, for defensive replacement Alfredo Griffin.

"I had him batting in the eighth because I didn't want Zosky in there with his lack of experience," Jays manager Cito Gaston said in an Associated Press account, then noting a Griffin game-saving play. "The move paid off."

Zosky would go on to play parts of five seasons in the majors, small parts. His career game total hit just 44, ending in 2000 with four final games, these with the Astros. His final major league hit, of eight total, came a year earlier with Milwaukee.

Despite the years in the minors, Zosky kept his sense of humor. One time in 1993 bringing into the clubhouse bone chips that had been surgically removed from his elbow. Another time, in 1998, Zosky gave a mock answer to being the first Brewer in camp to be hit by a pitch in intersquad workouts.

"He apologized right away," Zosky told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that February. "I was going to charge the mound, but then he apologized so everything was OK."
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed: 87/880 - 9.9%
Made the Majors: 52 - 60%
Never Made the Majors: 35 - 40%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 18
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 31

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