I remember ElyMania like it was yesterday. He was an unsung pitcher with some decent peripheral numbers in the White Sox system, so nobody could have predicted his amazing start. Quickly though, like a tornado or a flying sombrero, he captured the hearts and minds of Dodger fans everywhere.
Ely won three games in his first five starts, and in another three starts in his first eight games he gave up a run or less for no-decisions. For awhile it seemed like we had found a diamond, or at the very least a solid back-of-the-rotation pitcher. Unfortunately, that luster soon disappeared. Ely started to get wild and lost command of the strike zone. In his first eight games he walked just ten batters. In his next ten starts he walked thirty.
Today, Ely pitches for the Red Sox AAA team in Pawtucket. He has since been converted into a reliever and has pitched well for them. So well, in fact, he just might find longterm success in that capacity. I know if he does, I will continue to root for him.
Featured here is an autographed card of John Ely that I recently added to my collection. It is a 2010 Topps Peek Performance autographed card that was found in packs of their update series.
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