Dan Plesac: Former Major League Baseball Player

Dan Plesac was born February 4, 1962 in Gary, Indiana. He is a retired Major League Baseball player, and currently works for the MLB Network as a studio analyst.

Dan Plesac discusses the art of pitching while with Comcast Sportsnet Chicago.

Plesac attended Crown Point High School in Crown Point, Indiana his first two years of high school, but transferred to Andrean High School for his final junior and senior years. While at Andrean, Plesac teamed with former Indiana University basketball coach and player, and current sports talk show host for WIBC 1070 The Fan, Dan Dakich. His high school coach, Dave Pishkur, said of Plesac: “Opposing players were excited about fouling off a pitch or putting the ball in play. Scoring a run was not an option.”

Upon graduation, Plesac joined his brother Joe, a former professional baseball himself, at North Carolina State University. As a member of the Wolfpack, Plesac proved to be one of the best pitchers in nation, and was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 26th pick in the 1983 amateur draft.

A starting pitcher in the minor leagues, Plesac was converted to the bullpen when he reached the majors with Milwaukee in 1986. Sporting a fastball that topped out at 95 miles an hour to go along with a nasty slider and impeccable control, he was installed as the Brewers closer late in the 1986 season and recorded 14 saves. The next season was Plesac’s official breakout as he compiled a 2.61 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, and 89 strikeouts in 79.1 innings. He also saved 23 games and earned his first of three straight All-Star game selections.

After saving 87 games over the next three years, Plesac was moved into the starting rotation at the end of the 1990 season. He started 10 games in 1990, and then four more to start the ’91 season, but he was much less effective in the role, and was eventually sent back to the bullpen as a middle reliever.

Dan Plesac talks about his love for horse racing with Mouthpiece Sports.

With his closer job in the hands of another pitcher, Dan decided to take his talents to Chicago, signing with the Cubs before the 1993 season. He worked as a lefty specialist for the Cubs for two seasons before signing with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1995. Though not as dominant as he once was, Plesac managed to save 11 games for the Pirates in 1996. He was then traded to the Toronto Blue Jays two seasons later. Plesac ended his career by pitching for the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Philadelphia Phillies. In Philly, Plesac became the last pitcher to ever throw in the Phillies old Veterans Stadium.

He retired at the conclusion of the 2003 season at the age of 41. All told, Plesac pitched in 1,064 games, which ranks 6th on baseball’s all-time list. He is also the Brewers career-leader in ERA and Saves, and is second in strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) and WHIP. He was recently named to the North Carolina State Hall of Fame, and in 2009 was one of 10 first-time candidates listed on the MLB Hall of Fame ballot.

When his playing career ended, Plesac joined Comcast Sportsnet Chicago as a live in-studio analyst for Cubs pre and postgame broadcasts. His engaging personality and immense knowledge of the game proved to be a great combination for broadcasting, and in 2009 he joined the newly launched MLB Network as a studio analyst. He currently resides in Northwest Indiana, and trains and participates in Harness Racing in his spare time.

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