Sunday, May 28, 2006

Darren Dreifort

He was the posterboy for the American Medical Association.

Doctors throughout the country knew him on a first-name basis.

He was more injury-prone than Wile E. Coyote.

He spent more time in the training room than he did on the baseball diamond.

Okay, you get the point.

Arguably, no one in the history of sports suffered more severe and devastating injuries than Darren James Dreifort.

No one.

"He has not done well as far as connective tissue," Dr. Frank Jobe once noted.

Yeah, no kidding.

By the time Dreifort hobbled away from the game of baseball at the age of 33, he had undergone a total of 15 surgeries for injuries to his elbow, shoulder, knees and hips.

However, Dreifort was not upset about how his career turned out.

"But what the heck can I be mad about,'' Dreifort once asked. "I've done what I can to get out there.''

He was also paid an enormous amount of money.

After posting a 12-9 record and a 4.16 earned run average in 2000, Los Angeles Dodgers' General Manager Kevin Malone rewarded Dreifort with a five-year, $55 million contract. In return, Dreifort made a mere 26 starts and 60 relief appearances and missed the entire 2004 and 2005 seasons.


A native of Wichita, Kansas, Dreifort played in the big leagues for parts of nine seasons, all with Los Angeles, and registered a 48-60 won-lost record and a 4.36 ERA in 274 games.

He was selected by the Dodgers with the second overall pick in the 1993 amateur draft after a brilliant career at Wichita State.

The first player chosen in the draft? An 18-year old shortstop by the name of Alex Rodriguez.

Double ouch!

[1] Gurnick, Ken. "Notes: Dreifort Has Torn ACL.", August 17, 2004.
[2] -----. "Right-hander Recovering from Surgeries Last Fall.", May 1, 2005.
[3] Thompson, Art III. "Dodgers lose Dreifort for season." The Orange County Register, August 18, 2004.
[4] Lutz, Bob. "Fed up with the pain, Dreifort calls it quits." Wichita Eagle, February 23, 2006.


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