November 21, 1960 |
San Jose, California
|August 30, 1982, for the Toronto Blue Jays|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 14, 1996, for the California Angels|
|Earned run average||3.00|
|Career highlights and awards|
Mark Anthony Eichhorn (born November 21, 1960, in San Jose, California) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher best known for his tenure with the Toronto Blue Jays in the late 1980s and the early 1990s when he often served as a middle reliever/set-up man for All-Star closer, Tom Henke. He was the 1986 American League Rookie Pitcher of the year for the Blue Jays, a campaign in which he set team records for rookie relief in ERA, games, wins, and strikeouts. He would have easily won the AL ERA title had he pitched five more innings to qualify.
Mark Eichhorn made his major league debut for the Blue Jays in 1982 but suffered a severe shoulder injury and would not return to the majors until 1986. The shoulder injury had robbed Eichhorn of most of his fastball velocity and had forced him to turn to an unconventional sidearm motion in which his arm angle was well below the belt when he released the ball. He was notable for an exceptionally low velocity for a major league pitcher but his control and unusual delivery made him an effective player.
Eichhorn played for four different ballclubs during his career: the Toronto Blue Jays (1982, 1986–1988, 1992–1993), Atlanta Braves (1989), California Angels (1990–1992, 1996), and Baltimore Orioles (1994). He made his Major League Baseball debut on August 30, 1982. He would return to the minor leagues after the '82 season and not resurface in the Major Leagues again until 1986. Eichhorn played his final game on September 14, 1996.
Mark coached his 12-year-old son, Kevin, on the Aptos Little League team which won the Little League West Regional and played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA in 2002, as chronicled in the movie Small Ball.
Kevin was later drafted in the third round, number 104 overall, by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2008 MLB Draft, deciding to sign instead of attending Santa Clara University, where he had been collegiately committed since his junior year of high school.
On January 24, 2011, Kevin was traded to the Detroit Tigers organization in a deal for pitcher Armando Galarraga, pitching through the 2014 season, finishing with a career mark of 26-23, a 3.73 ERA though 89 games.