#48 is still great and ready for a dedication

Thank you one and all for your support for me in keeping me at #48 on the latest leaders list for fans of MLBlogs.com. Today I want to dedicate this ranking to a player on the Tribe the year my wife was born and the year I was born. For us, baseball is a family affair. That person was Sudden Sam McDowell.

Sudden Sam McDowell played for the Cleveland Indians from 1960-1971. For the Tribe, he was a 20 game winner in 1970, He was a six-time all star. He is second all-time in strikeouts to Bob Feller for the Cleveland ballclub with 2159 strikeouts. He also played for the San Francisco Giants, New York Yankees and Pittsburgh Pirates. He is current #34 of the Top 100 strikeout pitchers of all time with 2,453 K’s all-time.

His greatest achievement happened off the field as he was able to admit he had a drinking problem and checked himself into rehabilitation. He then earned a degree to be in sports psychology and addiction and went on to be a sports addiction counselor with the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers. He even earned a World Series ring while working as part of the 1993 Blue Jays.The character of Sam Malone, the alcoholic ex-Red Sox pitcher portrayed by Emmy Award winning actor Ted Danson in the television program Cheers, was based on the baseball life of McDowell.

This information is inspiring to me because he is a man that was caught up in fame, admitted and overcame his addictions and has lived a productive life. We all can be inspired by Mr McDowell to overcome our present situations and strive to make the best of what seems like impossible odds by turning our lives over to a higher power  and trusting that life can and will improve for all of us no matter what life holds. Thank you Sam for your example on and off the field.

Interestingly enough, his last playing year was 1975, the year my sister was born. Like his nickname Sudden, I received some sudden but exciting news as my sister announced she is engaged. I hope and pray for her life ahead and welcome her fiance as part of the family.

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9 comments

  1. Jane Heller

    Nice tribute, Aaron. I remember Sudden Sam well and he was an outstanding pitcher. But I didn’t realize he became a counselor with the Blue Jays and Rangers. So glad he turned his life around. Very inspiring story.

    http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

  2. Lissi

    I am reading a book on the Curse of Rocky Colavito by Terry Pluto (it’s really good, I recommend it) and I just finished the section about Sudden Sam. I too admire him for admitting to his problems and overcoming them. That is a great story! Great dedication! Good luck to your sister!
    Melissa
    http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com

  3. alwaysthejake

    Great tribute! Congrats again on yet another Top50 place, you deserve it!
    I gave Totally Tribe a little tribute of my own and gave you a shout out in my latest post… check it out 🙂 You are a source for inspiration and a wealth of information.
    Sarah [[ http://alwaysthejake.mlblogs.com ]

  4. Elizabeth D.

    Aaron,
    Congrats on your ranking! I didn’t know much about Sam McDowell. That’s really inspiring to me as well that a guy could admit to his problem, and then “turn it around” like you said, and help others!
    -Elizabeth
    http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

  5. smilesarahlynn@yahoo.com

    Aaron,
    Three things… Congratulations on getting to #48 on this blog! Great Tribute to Sudden! And, thank you for mentioning my engagement to Charles.
    Love,
    Sarah

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