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 Mikie Mahtook.

Today, we feature Eric Hetzel.

Born in Crowley in 1963, Hetzel, a right-handed pitcher, played parts of two seasons in Major League Baseball, with the Boston Red Sox, from 1989-1990.

After playing his high school baseball at Notre Dame High School, and then his college baseball at LSU, Hetzel was drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the first round of the 1985 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

The 6-foot-3, 175-pound Hetzel played for the Red Sox’ minor league affiliate in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1985, going 7-5 with a 5.57 ERA. in 15 games at the age of 21.

After missing the 1986 season due to injury, Hetzel made minor league stop at Winter Haven (Florida) and Pawtucket (Rhode Island), before being called up to the big leagues by the Red Sox in July of 1989.

In his big league debut, against the Toronto Blue Jays, at the age of 25, Hetzel recorded a win, allowing 3 hits and no earned runs in 5.2 innings of work.

Splitting time between Boston and AAA Pawtucket in 1989, Hetzel went 2-3 with a 6.26 ERA. over the course of 12 games, including 11 starts.

In 1990, his final stint in MLB, Hetzel again, splitting time between AAA and the big leagues, appeared in 9 games, including 8 as a starter, while going 1-4 with a 5.91 ERA. in 35 innings.

Hetzel played his final year of professional baseball in 1994, pitching for the Beaumont Bullfrogs of the Texas/Louisiana League.

In 5 seasons in the minor leagues, Hetzel went 42-41 with a 3.74 ERA.

In parts of 2 seasons in Major League Baseball, Hetzel went 3-7 with a 6.12 ERA. appearing in 21 games, including 19 as a starter, allowing 100 hits and 58 earned runs over 85.1 innings, while striking out 53 batters.