Next up in our "Random Retro Cubs" series, we take a look at former Cubs pitcher Mike Harkey...
Years Played: 1988, 1990-1995, 1997.
Teams Played For: Chicago Cubs(88, 90-93), Colorado Rockies(94), Oakland Athletics(95), California Angels(95), Los Angeles Dodgers(97).
Position: Pitcher(131 Games, 104 Games Started)
Career Line: 36-36, 4.49 ERA, 1.441 WHIP, 94 ERA+, 316 K, 4 CG, 1 SHO, 656 IP.
Best Cubs Season:
1990- 12-6, 3.26 ERA, 1.221 WHIP, 126 ERA+, 94 K, 2 CG, 1 SHO, 173.2 IP.
Awards/Leaderboard: 4th IN NL Winning Percentage In 1990(.667)
9th In NL ERA+(126)
10th In NL Hits Per 9 IP In 1990(7.929)
Fun Facts: Mike Harkey was a 1st-round draft pick of the Cubs(4th overall) out of Cal State-Fullerton. His son now plays for Cal State-Fullerton as well.
Harkey was a highly regarded pitcher and showed flashes of being worthy of the #4 overall selection with the Cubs, specifically in 1990(stats above). He just wasn't able to stay healthy, missing the entire 1989 season dealing with shoulder and knee injuries.
In 1992, his injury woes continued, but in most unusual fashion. On September 6, 1992, Harkey severely injured his knee attempting to do a cartwheel at Wrigley Field before a game.
He's held a few pitching coach positions in the minor leagues, including with the Iowa Cubs in 2007. He's currently the bullpen coach for the New York Yankees.
My Take: As a kid that started following the Cubs in regularity in 1989 or so, Mike Harkey was one of the main players I followed with interest. I had a ton of his baseball cards as everybody thought he could be a superstar, and he very well may have been if not for continuous injuries.
That terrific 1990 season, he was just 20 years old. He was never the same after that season, and many put the blame on manager Don Zimmer for overusing the young Harkey. Maybe that blame is warranted, but the injuries kept coming throughout Harkey's career.
As a Cub, he went 26-21 with a 3.92 ERA in 71 starts over 5 seasons. It's a shame we didn't get to see more starts from him in a Cubs uniform.
Link To Mike Harkey's Baseball-Reference Page
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