Today marks the 5th year anniversary of beloved pitcher Cory Lidle’s shocking death. Cory Lidle played for multiple teams and had a successful roller coaster career. He was traded, cut, drafted, signed, released, claimed, literally everything. The California native started his career when he was signed by the Minnesota Twins in 1990 as an amateur free agent. After struggling, he was cut by the Twins and picked up by the Milwaukee Brewers. In 1994 Lidle crossed the picket line during the Players Strike and was not able to join the MLB Players Union. In 1996 Lidle was traded to the New York Mets for Catcher Kelly Stinnett. He finally made his Major League debut with the Mets in 1997.
In his rookie season he pitched 81.2 innings and went 7-2 with a 3.53 ERA. Later in 1997 he was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks from the New York Mets with the 13th pick due to the Expansion Draft. Later in 1998, he was claimed off waivers to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In his 2 years with the Devil Rays he went 5-6 with a 6.12 ERA. The next year Lidle was a part of 3-way trade with the Oakland A’s and Kansas City Royals sending Angel Berroa and A.J Hinch to the Royals, Ben Grieve to the Rays, and Lidle, Jonny Damon, and Mark Ellis to the A’s (pretty good deal for Billy Beane).
In 2001 with Oakland Cory Lidle had his best year, he pitched 188 innings with a 3.69 ERA and a 13-6 record. The next season Lidle went 8-10 but helped the A’s make the playoffs once again. In November 2002 Lidle was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Christopher Mowday and Mike Rouse. Lidle went 12-15 with the Jays and pitched 192.2. Lidle became a free agent at the end of the year, and was signed by the Cincinnati Reds. In his first and only season with the Reds he went 7-10, but set career highs with 3 complete games and 211.1 Innings Pitched.
In 2004 he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies for Javon Moran, Joe Wilson, and Elizardo Ramirez. With the Phillies he completely bounced back. In his three seasons with Philadelphia he went 5-2, 13-11, and 8-7. In July 2006 Lidle was apart of his last trade. The Phillies traded Bobby Abreu and Cory Lidle to the New York Yankees for C.J. Henry, Jesus Sanchez, Carlos Monasterios, and Matt Smith. Lidle would go 4-3 with the and help the Yankees pitching in the 2006 Playoffs.
On October 11, 2006 Lidle’s airplane crashed into the Belaire Apartments complex on York Ave. at E. 72nd Street on New York City’s Upper East Side. Cory Lidle’s loss was tragic to say the least, a tribute post on a blog doesn’t do him justice. He should always be remembered for the great pitcher that he was, especially today.