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James Jason Mecir (born May 16, 1970) is an American former baseball player. He played for five teams in an 11-year career, and retired from the Florida Marlins in 2005. He was a right-handed pitcher.
|Born: May 16, 1970|
Queens, New York
|September 4, 1995, for the Seattle Mariners|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 28, 2005, for the Florida Marlins|
|Earned run average||3.77|
Mecir is notable for having overcome a birth defect (namely club feet) to become an effective Major League pitcher as well as for regularly throwing a screwball. He spent 4½ years as a member of the Oakland Athletics and is prominently mentioned in Michael Lewis's bestselling book Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game.
Mecir was drafted by the Seattle Mariners from Eckerd College in the third round of the 1991 amateur draft. He played for the Seattle Mariners in 1995, the New York Yankees in 1996 and 1997, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays from 1998 to 2000, the Oakland Athletics from 2001 to 2004, before spending the last year of his career with the Marlins. He announced his retirement on October 2, 2005, following the Marlins' last game of the season.
In 2003, Mecir received the Tony Conigliaro Award, given annually to the player who most effectively overcomes adversity to succeed in baseball. Mecir was born with two club feet; despite several childhood surgeries that enabled him to walk, he was left with a right leg that was one inch shorter than his left leg and a right calf that was only half the size of his left calf.
Mecir was inadvertently the subject of attention which began on May 15, 2005. On that Sunday, Mecir pitched poorly in a game against the Padres, and ESPN analyst John Kruk cited Mecir's limp (not knowing about his birth defect) when Mecir walked to the mound. Kruk presented this as evidence that the Marlins were negligent for asking Mecir to pitch (while Mecir appeared to be injured). Kruk came under heavy public criticism for being insensitive, even though Kruk was unaware. However, Mecir did not take offense when informed of the remark.
- Rieber, Anthony (18 July 1996). "Up-and-down Mecir hardly down and out about role". Daily News. Retrieved 30 May 2010.[permanent dead link]