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Monday, June 17, 2013

Scott Service, Well-Traveled - 600

Originally published Jan. 16, 2012
In his 18th professional season in 2003, Scott Service told he'd like to have a dollar for each mile he'd driven from team to team.

By that point - his 11th season with time in the majors - nine different major league clubs alone had benefited from his services.

"I've been well-traveled," Service told, "but I've got over five years in the Majors. It's been 18 years. It's been a hard 18 years, but I wouldn't change a thing."

Service's career finally ended the next year, his 12th year in the majors, with the Diamondbacks. Service's first stop, though, was with Philadelphia, in 1988, the team that first signed him.

The Phillies signed Service in 1985 as an undrafted free agent, out of Aiken High School in Cincinnati. His first year came in 1986, with Service playing for three different teams in just his first year, Utica, Clearwater and Spartanburg.

He hit AA Reading in 1987, then made AAA Maine and major league Philadelphia in 1988. With the big club in September, Service got into five games in relief, giving up one earned run in 5.1 innings of work.

Service, though, didn't make it back to the majors until 1992. In the meantime, he played at AAA Scranton and Indianapolis.

Service returned to the majors in 1992, with five more relief appearances with the Expos. In seven innings, he gave up 11 runs.

Going into 1993, Service looked to have a more permanent role on a major league club. In camp with his hometown team, the Reds. By then, Service was working on a forkball.

"There are a lot of guys here who are big and strong," Service told reporters that spring. "But I think, given a few breaks, I can earn a spot."

Service did make the Reds that year, getting into 26 games in relief. Mid-year, he packed his bags again, taken off waivers by the Rockies. He got into three games with them.

For 1994, he was back with the Reds, for six games. Then 28 games with the Giants in 1995 and 34 with the Reds again in 1996.

That July, Service made his first major league start, the second game of a double-header. He went five innings, giving up three runs.

"You've really got to slow it down and pace yourself as a starter," Service told reporters later. "As a reliever you can come in and throw 9-10 pitches an inning and get out of it. As a starter, you're going to be facing these guys 2-3 times."

That start ended up being Service's only major league start. He moved to the Royals in 1997, staying with them through 1999. In his two full seasons in Kansas City, Service got into 73 and 68 games.

Service then got into 20 games with Oakland in 2000, then didn't get back to the majors until 2003 with the Blue Jays. He finished out his career in 2004, with the Diamondbacks.

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