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Dave Dravecky Biography

Getting The Bad News, A Brief, Bright Comeback, Life Goes On, Career StatisticsCONTACT INFORMATION


American baseball player

Fate has been both kind and cruel to baseball's Dave Dravecky. First he was gifted with a talent for pitching that led him to the major leagues and two All-Star games. Then that same gift was cruelly taken away as cancer destroyed Dravecky's left arm—his throwing arm. But Dravecky, whose Christian faith led him through the hard times, has devoted his post-baseball life to helping others who have faced the ravages of cancer and amputation.

A native of Youngstown, Ohio, Dravecky "seemed like the ultimate, all-American, clean-cut athlete," according to an essay for Contemporary Heroes and Heroines. He graduated from his hometown Youngstown State University, then was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates to play Double-A ball, honing his game in such towns as Buffalo, New York, and Amarillo, Texas. Called to the majors in 1982, Dravecky took the mound for the San Diego Padres, serving as both starting and relief pitcher. The left-hander reached an early peak; in 1984, Dravecky threw more than ten scoreless innings of relief in postseason play, first in the National League playoffs versus the Chicago Cubs, and then during the World Series against the Detroit Tigers.


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Sketch by Susan Salter

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Famous Sports StarsBaseball