30 Players in 30 Days: Stephen Strasburg

101902332_10.jpgAnyone who follows baseball–or just turned on their TV this summer–heard the name Stephen Strasburg. He attracted (unwanted) attention with every breath he took and every pitch he threw. People eventually ran out of adjectives when trying to describe him and they were never short on hyperbole. He is a difference maker. He singlehandedly sold-out ballparks and his Major League debut will never be forgotten by those who witnessed it.


It marked the first time any pitcher in the history of Major League Baseball struck out 14 without a single walk in his debut. So what more can be said? You can find out everything you could ever care to know about him with a five second Google search. So instead of recapping his already recapped season or projecting his already projected return from Tommy John surgery, we will just reminded you of how good he is with a few quotes from his debut that you probably haven’t forgotten about.


Strasburg debut–Tuesday, June 8, 2010

“I’ve never seen anything like this. Never. Nothing close.”

-Curt Schilling

“That was unbelievable. I can’t imagine a better game that I’ve been to. That was everything they hoped it would be and more.”

-Ken Burns

“The Nationals made their way down from Montreal in 2005, but it was only on Tuesday night, it seems, that they arrived.”

-Joe Sheehan, SI.com

“To overmatch Major League hitters in your Major League debut like that made this historic in so many ways… I’ve never seen anything quite like that. It was more than a baseball game. It was more than about the winning and the losing of the game. It was about this guy and seeing what he could do for the first time. I figured, well, if he pitches six innings and is competitive and strikes out six or seven, that will be a great debut. Instead he doubled it, as far as the strikeouts go. No walks, 14 strikeouts–only guy to ever do that in his Major League debut. You have to say that a few times to really appreciate it, because again, no one’s ever done that before.”

-Tim Kurkjian, on Mike and Mike, June 9


101903717_10.jpg“For magic and hope in the Nation’s Capital, we have to turn to baseball, in particular one Stephen Strasburg, a.k.a. Baseball Jesus, a.k.a. Mr. Precedent, a.k.a. Stratosphere, a.k.a. I have never seen anything like this kid in my life! I don’t enjoy having to use an exclamation point there, because I’m generally against them, but he is why they were invented.”

-Steve Tuttle, Newsweek editor and web columnist

“Strasburg put on a 94-pitch clinic, illustrating why the Nationals were willing to invest a record $15.1 million in him after a down-to-the-wire negotiation with agent Scott Boras last summer… Boras’ reputation for hyping his clients is legendary, but Strasburg’s debut made you wonder if he has been undersold.”

-Phil Rogers, LA Times reporter

“When you see somebody with that kind of stuff, with that kind of head on his shoulders, you know he’s going to be successful. You know that. He was a sophomore in college and you just knew — he’s got it. And it is a hard thing to kind of point your finger at. But I think you saw that tonight.”

-Tony Gwynn

“I’ve been catching a lot of guys, but this kid is unbelievable!”

            -Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Washington Nationals catcher

“I’ve been in this game for 32 years. I’ve seen everything. And I get chills when he lets that first pitch go.”

            -Donald “Spin” Williams, Washington Nationals Minor League pitching coordinator

 “Anything he throws, if he throws it the way he can, you can’t hit it.”

            -Steve McCatty, Washington Nationals pitching coach 

60810-010 packed stadium.JPG“Strasburg doesn’t get caught up in it. He doesn’t watch himself on TV, which means he probably doesn’t watch TV at all.”

            – Drew Storen, Washington Nationals reliever

“He’s the only guy in baseball who lives up to all the stories you hear.”

            – Storen

“I’ve had a front-row seat to the whole thing. It’s been an unbelievable experience because I got to experience Minor League baseball and even the Big Leagues with and without Strasburg, so you kind of see the Strasburg effect first hand. It’s nuts. His first game here, obviously, you saw it at full force. But when he pitched in Cleveland too, you could really see that factor when they’re selling his jerseys in their stadium. And you just have people in Strasburg jerseys showing up to the Cleveland Indians game. It was just very weird. And it’s cool because he’s good for baseball and I think that’s the big thing.”

            – Storen

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