All-Time MLB Players From Lafayette: Ron Guidry
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.
Today, we feature Ron Guidry.
Born in Carencro in 1950, Guidry, a left-handed pitcher, played 14 seasons in Major League Baseball, all for the New York Yankees, from 1975-1988.
Guidry is, by far, the most successful Major League Baseball player, ever, from the Acadiana area.
After playing his college baseball at UL, which at the time was the University of Southwestern Louisiana, Guidry was drafted in the third round of the 1971 Amateur Draft by the Yankees.
The 5-foot-11, 160-pound Guidry played for the Yankees’ minor league affiliate in Johnson City, Tennessee, going 2-2 with a 2.11 ERA. in 7 games, all as a starter, in his first season of professional baseball.
Guidry spent four more season in the minors, making stops in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Kinston, North Carolina, West Haven, Connecticut, and Syracuse, New York, before being called up to the big leagues during the 1975 season.
Nicknamed "Gator" and "Louisiana Lightning", Guidry went 10 games in 1975 in 17 games with the Yankees, before going 0-0 with a 5.63 ERA. in only 7 games in 19760-1 with a 3.45 ERA.
In 1977, his first full season in Major League Baseball, Guidry made a big splash, going 16-7 with a 2.82 ERA., while finishing 7th in the American League Cy Young voting.
As an encore, Guidry was even better in 1978, compiling one of the best seasons by any pitcher, ever.
In that magical 1978 campaign, one in which he was named to the All-Star team for the first time in his career, Guidry won the AL Cy Young Award, going 25-3 with a sparkling 1.74 ERA.
The 1979 season saw Guidry continue to flourish, going 18-8 with a 2.78 ERA., while making the AL All-Star team, and finishing third in the AL Cy Young voting.
Over the next 6 seasons, Guidry piled up double-digit victories in each, including 21 n 1983, and 22 in 1985, giving him 4 20-win seasons during his spectacular career.
1985 was Guidry's last great year however, as he went a combined 16-23 over his last three season, 1986-1988.
Still, Guidry had a marvelous career. One that many can only dream of having.
In 14 MLB seasons, Guidry compiled an overall record of 170-91 with a 3.29 ERA.
A 4-time All-Star, and the 1978 AL Cy Young Award winner, Guidry was also a great fielder, winning the AL Gold Glove for pitchers 5 times.
How good of a career was that? Well, Guidry's number 49 was retired on "Ron Guidry Day", August 23, 2003.
Did you know that Guidry's first number was 54 when he broke in, however?
The Yankees' pitching coach during the 2006-2007 seasons, and a 2015 inductee into the UL Athletics Hall of Fame, Guidry became the second player ever from Lafayette (technically Carencro) to ever appear in Major League Baseball.
And what he career he had!
Guidry made his debut on July 27, 1975, while making his final appearance on September 27 of 1988.