Curtis Leskanic is the definition of a journeyman.
He was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the 8th round of the 1989 amateur draft and promptly spent the next three years in the minors. In 1992, he was traded to the Minnesota Twins with Oscar Munoz for Paul Sorrento. Soon after, he was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 1992 expansion draft. In 1993, when Curtis got his shot with the Rockies by starting eight games, he went 1-5 with an ERA of 5.37.
A fresh-faced Curtis Leskanic on the Colorado Rockies.
For the next few years Curtis was a pretty good innings-eater for the Rockies. He even led the league in games pitched in 1995, the same year that the Rockies made the National League Division Series only to fall to the Atlanta Braves. Leskanic, who pitched three innings in three appearances, earned his only postseason loss… More on Curtis’ postseason stats later.
Like any good journeyman, Leskanic bounced around the league in his 11-year career, making stops in Milwaukee and Kansas City before he finished his career with the 2004 Red Sox after being released from an infamously horrendous Royals team that finished 58-104.
Fortunately for the Red Sox, Curtis Leskanic had at least one shining moment in him that season.
You’ve heard the story of ’04 Red Sox. The Idiots. The underdogs. Schilling’s bloody sock. As you know, the Red Sox gave up the first three games of the ALCS to the hated New York Yankees, a deficit that no team had ever overcome in Major League Baseball. But in the fourth game of that series the Red Sox famously came back when Dave Roberts pinch ran for a very slow Kevin Millar who drew a clutch walk off of Mariano Rivera in the 9th inning. Everyone in the world knew that Roberts was looking to steal. And he did. It looked something like this:
An iconic moment.
The rest, as they say is history. Except for the part that you may not remember. In that game, Curtis Leskanic threw his last pitch in Major League Baseball. He threw one-and-a-third innings of shutout ball and was credited for the win in what may go down as the most memorable game for a whole generation of Red Sox fans.
Not bad for a journeyman with a funky beard.
Unfortunately, Leskanic was arrested for DUI in 2011 with a .33 Blood Alcohol Content… Or 4 times the legal limit. So maybe being part of the team dubbed “The Idiots” was a bit of foreshadowing.
These days, Leskanic is a scout for the Red Sox, but he’ll always be remembered for Game Fah’.