clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Braves Rewind: Whatever happened to...Kent Mercker?

New, 1 comment

Let's take a look at Braves from years past.

Craig Melvin/Getty Images

Not often can a pitcher say he's done something not even a Hall-of-Famer has accomplished, but Kent Mercker can.

Mercker was the fifth overall pick in the 1986 draft, and while his career wasn't as successful as one might expect from a top-5 pick, he can lay claim to something Maddux, Glavine, or Smoltz have never done: he's pitched both a solo and a combined no-hitter. In 1991, he, Mark Wohlers, and Alejandro Pena blanked the Padres.

Then in 1994, Mercker pulled off the feat by himself, no-hitting the Dodgers in L.A.

Following the 1995 championship year, Mercker's career spanned the country starting that winter when he was traded to Baltimore. He'd also make stops in his native Ohio with the Indians and Reds, followed by stints in St. Louis and Boston.

Every time my heart beat, it was like someone taking a hammer and beating me on the side of the head...I defied death and lived to tell about it. - Kent Mercker on his cerebral hemorrhage

Mercker suffered a scare in 2000 while pitching for the Angels: on May 11 that year, Mercker complained of dizziness and headaches, caused by a burst blood vessel in his brain, which was later revealed to be a cerebral hemorrhage. Fortunately, he returned to action three months later and was the recipient of the Tony Conigliaro Award.

He sat out all of 2001 after being released by the Red Sox during Spring Training, but found a home in Colorado in 2002. The next year saw Mercker return to Atlanta following a second stint with the Reds, traded in August for Matt Belisle.

In Mercker's lone season with the Cubs in 2004, he garnered some media attention regarding a spat he had with announcer Steve Stone. Various media outlets reported Mercker screamed at and threatened Stone following an incident at Wrigley Field, while Mercker firmly denied ever antagonizing him.

Mercker returned to Cincinnati yet again for the final three years of his career, his final game in 2008. He appeared in 692 games over 18 seasons with nine different teams. In 2010, Mercker joined the Reds broadcast team where he spent time as a part-time announcer. He currently works for Excel Sports Management.