Eric Vaughn Plunk (born September 3, 1963) is a former professional baseball player who pitched in the Major Leagues from 1986-1999.
Plunk at Progressive Field in 2015
|Born: September 3, 1963|
|May 12, 1986, for the Oakland Athletics|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 2, 1999, for the Milwaukee Brewers|
|Earned run average||3.82|
Plunk was involved in two trades for Rickey Henderson. On December 5, 1984, as a minor leaguer, he was traded by the New York Yankees with Tim Birtsas, Jay Howell, Stan Javier, and José Rijo to the Oakland Athletics for Rickey Henderson, Bert Bradley, and cash. On June 21, 1989, he was traded by the Oakland Athletics with Greg Cadaret and Luis Polonia to the New York Yankees for Rickey Henderson. Plunk was part of the pennant-winning 1988 Athletics.
Known for his bookish looks and thick glasses, Plunk threw a mid- to upper 90s fastball and emerged with the Indians as a reliable set-up man in one of the American League's best bullpens.
Plunk's career took him to the Cleveland Indians as a free agent signing in the winter of 1992. There, he was the winning pitcher in the first ever game played at Jacobs Field on April 4, 1994. Plunk became one of the most reliable set-up men in baseball, posting a sub-3.00 earned run average in four consecutive seasons from 1993 to 1996. On September 17, 1996, Plunk pitched the final three innings and got the save in the Indians' 9-4 win over the White Sox that clinched the Tribe's second consecutive Central Division title.
Plunk's regular season success never translated over to the postseason. In 15 playoff appearances with the Athletics and Indians, Plunk had a 7.53 ERA and walked 10 batters in 14 innings of work. He was the losing pitcher for Game 3 of the 1997 World Series, his final postseason appearance.