All-Time MLB Players From Louisiana: Ben McDonald
There have been a number of individuals from Lafayette, and the Acadiana area, that have played in Major League Baseball over the years.
Obviously, the entire state of Louisiana has produced even more.
As a matter of fact, 246 people born in the state of Louisiana have appeared in a Major League Baseball game, beginning in 1874, with John Peters of New Orleans, who played 11 years, with the likes of the Chicago White Stockings, Milwaukee Grays, Providence Grays, Buffalo Bisons, and Pittsburgh Alleghenys.
All summer, we’ll preview a player from the state of Louisiana that appeared in Major League baseball, starting with players from Lafayette, before spotlighting players from the Acadiana area, and then a few from the state itself.
Yesterday, we spotlighted Ken Tatum.
Today, we feature Ben McDonald.
Born in Baton Rouge in 1967, McDonald, a right-handed pitcher, played parts of 9 seasons in Major League Baseball, with the California Angels (1969-1970), Baltimore Orioles (1989-1995) and the Milwaukee Brewers (1996-1997).
After attending Denham Springs High School, and then playing his college baseball at LSU, McDonald was selected by the Orioles with the very first pick of the 1989 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
McDonald led the 1988 U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal, and helped LSU to the College World Series twice during his collegiate career, including 1989, when he went 14–4 with a 3.49 ERA., while being named an All-American, and winning the Golden Spikes Award.
The 6-foot-7, 212-pound McDonald made it to the Major Leagues very quickly, making his big league debut on September 6, 1989, tossing 2.2 innings against the Cleveland Indians.
McDonald went on to appear in 6 games for the Orioles in 1989, all as a reliever, going 1-0 with an 8.59 ERA. in 7.1 innings of work.
In 1990, McDonald's true rookie year, he was outstanding, going 8-5 with a 2.43 ERA. in 21 games, including 15 starts, covering 118.2 innings pitched.
That actually turned out to be McDonald's best year, in terms of ERA.
After going 6-4 with a 4.84 ERA. in 1991, McDonald put together a string of three-consecutive double-digit win seasons, including a career-high 14 wins in the strike-shortened 1994 season.
In 1995, his final season in Baltimore, McDonald went 3-6 in 13 starts.
McDonald headed to Milwaukee for his final two seasons, where he went a combined 20-17 with a 3.96 ERA, before suffering a torn rotator cuff, which forced him to retire.
In parts of 9 seasons in Major League Baseball, McDonald appeared in 211 games, including 198 as a starter, going 78-70 with 3.91 ERA.