Born: Sep 23, 1966
Baltimore's supplemental first-round draft pick in 1987, Pete Harnisch got his first look at major league hitters near the end of the following campaign. After splitting 22 decisions in 1990, he was traded to the Houston Astros, along with Curt Schilling and Steve Finley, for Glenn Davis. Harnisch won 12 games with a 2.70 ERA for the Astros that year, while Davis managed only 20 homers to go with a .227 batting average for Baltimore.
The gregarious Fordham graduate had several strong seasons in the National League, even leading the circuit with four shutouts during a 16-9 campaign in 1993. Injuries often interfered, however, sending Harnisch to the disabled list four times in four seasons. In 1998, he successfully rebounded from a bout with clinical depression.
Harnisch bounced from Houston to the Mets and Brewers before the pitching-poor Reds inked him as a free agent on January 21, 1998. A healthy Harnisch responded with a two-year record of 30-17, the highest win total for a Reds pitcher since Jose Rijo went 30-16 in 1991-92. Harnisch led the team in starts, shutouts, and innings while tying his career high in wins. After enduring a nearly six-hour rain delay, Harnisch earned a 7-1 victory in Milwaukee in the season finale to force a Wild Card playoff against the Mets. Cincinnati lost the one-game playoff.