Duane Ward

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Duane Ward
Pitcher
Born: (1964-05-28) May 28, 1964 (age 50)
Park View, New Mexico
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 12, 1986 for the Atlanta Braves
Last MLB appearance
June 22, 1995 for the Toronto Blue Jays
Career statistics
Win–Loss record 32–37
Earned run average 3.28
Strikeouts 679
Saves 121
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Roy Duane Ward (born May 28, 1964 in Park View, New Mexico) is a former Major League Baseball relief pitcher who played with the Atlanta Braves and Toronto Blue Jays.

Ward went to school and made his early athletic mark in Farmington, New Mexico, a small oil and gas city, and one known for its amateur baseball programs. Ward thrived in the American Amateur Baseball Congress-sponsored baseball leagues and graduated from Farmington High School, home of the Scorpions. Ward was drafted out of high school in 1982. Three brothers were also excellent athletes in their own right. Tommy, the oldest, was a baseball player; Gary, the next younger, was a standout wrestler; and Michael was a basketball player. Duane also starred in the Connie Mack World Series, a baseball tournament for 18-and-under players that has been hosted in Farmington since 1965.

Since 1988, Ward has lived in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Early career[edit]

A hard-throwing pitcher, Ward was drafted in the 1st round of the 1982 amateur draft by the Atlanta Braves. He made his major league debut on April 12, 1986, but after limited success was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays on July 6 for pitcher Doyle Alexander.

Setup man[edit]

Ward became one of the Jays' most dependable middle relievers in 1988, and remained in the role through the 1992 season, when the Blue Jays won their first World Series championship. His pitching repertoire featured a live, mid-90s fastball and a hard slider.

Closer[edit]

After years of being in Tom Henke's shadow, Ward took over the closer's role in 1993. In the regular season, Ward set Toronto's single-season team record for saves with 45. He was tied with Jeff Montgomery of the Kansas City Royals for most saves in the American League. In helping the Blue Jays repeat as World Series Champions in 1993 Ward reached the peak of his career and, unexpectedly, the last significant duty of this career.

In the 1993 World Series, Ward earned two saves over Philadelphia, in Game 1 (8-5 save, in Toronto) and in the wild Toronto 15-14 victory in Game 4 in Philadelphia, when Ward got the last four outs after Toronto scored the final six runs of the game. Ward was the winning pitcher for the decisive Game 6 in which his teammates came back from behind after he pitched in relief.

The rest of Ward's career was beset by injuries and he would never save another Major League game after 1993.[1] After missing the entire 1994 season due to biceps tendinitis, he retired from the Toronto Blue Jays after pitching four games during the 1995 season. He finished with a 3.28 ERA and 121 saves.

Broadcasting[edit]

Since 2014, Ward has been featured on the Blue Jays' radio broadcasts for Sportsnet 590 The Fan. He occasionally fills in for regular colour commentator Joe Siddall.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Toronto Blue Jays Calendar (Page-a-Day) March 14, 2011

External links[edit]