Stan Belinda

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Stan Belinda
Relief Pitcher
Born: (1966-08-06) August 6, 1966 (age 48)
Huntingdon, Pennsylvania
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 8, 1989 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Last MLB appearance
September 3, 2000 for the Atlanta Braves
Career statistics
Win–loss record 41–37
Earned run average 4.15
Strikeouts 622
Saves 79
Teams

Stanley Peter Belinda (born August 6, 1966) is a former Major League Baseball player. A right-handed relief pitcher who batted from the right side, Belinda is 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) tall and weighs 187 pounds. He pitched from a three-quarters arm slot (sometimes categorized as a "sidearm" delivery)[1] and threw both a regular low-90s fastball and a split-fingered fastball. He started only twice in his professional career: a minor league game in 1996, in a rehab assignment with Sarasota Red Sox; and another in Sarasota during the 1997 season.

Baseball career[edit]

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

As an amateur, Belinda pitched at both State College Area High School and (after graduation) Allegany College of Maryland.[2] In 1986, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected him with the 238th overall pick in the June draft, as part of the draft's 10th round. He made his professional debut in the Gulf Coast League and advanced steadily through the minors, making his major league debut with the Pirates on September 8, 1989. From 19901992, Belinda was a key reliever for the Pirates, setting up for Bill Landrum in the first two years before being promoted to closer in 1992. He is most well known in Pittsburgh for giving up the hit to Francisco Cabrera that scored Sid Bream and lost the NLCS for Pittsburgh in the bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 against the Atlanta Braves.

1992 National League Championship Series[edit]

The Pirates were one of the dominant teams in the National League at that time, winning the East division in all three years, but they ultimately proved unable to advance to the World Series. Belinda was front-and-center for their failure in 1992, when in Game 7 of the NLCS, he came out of the bullpen in the ninth inning, trying to protect a 2–0 Pittsburgh lead with three men on base and nobody out. Belinda induced Ron Gant to fly out, scoring one run, then walked Damon Berryhill and retired Brian Hunter on a popup. Then, with little-used Braves reserve Francisco Cabrera at the plate, Belinda surrendered a game-winning single, with slow-footed, stably-built Sid Bream barely beating the throw from left fielder Barry Bonds to score the winning run from second base.

Kansas City Royals and Boston Red Sox[edit]

Belinda was the subject of intense criticism in Pittsburgh after the loss, although his overall performance in the playoffs had been very good, and the loss of Bonds in free agency that offseason ended the team's days as a contender. The Pirates entered a rebuilding mode, and on July 31, 1993, they traded Belinda to the Kansas City Royals for pitchers Jon Lieber and Dan Miceli. Arm problems plagued Belinda during his year and a half with the Royals, and he left the team as a free agent, signing with the Boston Red Sox shortly before the 1995 season.

Temporarily healthy once more, Belinda enjoyed a great season in 1995, picking up 8 wins and 10 saves as the primary setup man for Rick Aguilera. Boston won the American League's East division that year, but was swept in three games by the Cleveland Indians in the ALDS. Belinda's arm troubles resurfaced in 1996, and he was largely ineffective, walking more batters than he struck out and pitching only 2813 innings.

Cincinnati Reds[edit]

Belinda signed with the Cincinnati Reds that offseason, and improbably went on to enjoy the best season of his career, delivering 9913 innings of quality pitching. His 84 games pitched ranked second in the league, and his 114 strikeouts led all relief pitchers in baseball. He began to suffer from tingling and numbness in his legs the following season, and on September 22, 1998, the Mayo Clinic issued a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis.[3]

Colorado Rockies and Atlanta Braves[edit]

Daily injections of the drug Copaxone and changes to his diet and lifestyle enabled Belinda to keep pitching professionally for a time,[4] but his performance suffered. He spent 1999 as a mop-up pitcher for the Reds, and on October 30 of that year, he and outfielder Jeffrey Hammonds were traded to the Colorado Rockies for outfielder Dante Bichette. Belinda put up a 7.07 ERA with the Rockies in 2000, before being released in July. He signed with the Atlanta Braves but was released again on September 12, ending his professional career. He retired with 41 wins, 37 losses, and 79 saves, putting up a 4.15 ERA in 68513 career innings.

Multiple Sclerosis[edit]

Belinda is currently suffering from multiple sclerosis, also known as MS.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Horrigan, Jeff (1997-03-22). "Reds' sidearm duo delivers". The Kentucky Post (E. W. Scripps Company). Archived from the original on 2005-05-05. 
  2. ^ Stan Belinda, The Baseball Cube. Accessed November 3, 2007.
  3. ^ Horrigan, Jeff (1998-09-22). "Belinda diagnosis: multiple sclerosis". The Kentucky Post (E. W. Scripps Company). Archived from the original on 2007-08-07. 
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]