Bartolo Colon, 1997
You’d had to be around back then to understand the fascination with Colon. There was no video of Colon tearing through the minors.
You didn’t know much about Colon, other for the Plain Dealer’s minor league statistics, which showed this Dominican Republic mystery striking out batters at high rate when he pitched for the then Triple-A affiliate Buffalo Bisons.
There was just so much mystery surrounding him, you couldn’t wait to watch him pitch.
When he got here, you could see the jump on his fastball, but it didn’t yield immediate results, as Colon went 4-7 with a 5.65 ERA in his rookie campaign. In fact, it took him five starts to get his first win.
In the end, Colon would total 247 career victories while earning the title of The Most Interesting Person in Baseball during his 21-year career. And yes, a lot of words have been typed arguing Colon’s case for the Hall of Fame.
I won’t do that here, but a tremendous career, none-the-less.