Orel Hershiser, who came up to the Major Leagues with the L.A. Dodgers in 1983 at the age of 24, is the best MLB athlete to ever wear the baseball jersey number 55.
When I first started contemplating this jersey number, the first MLB athlete who came to mind was Hideki Matsui. The 2009 World Series MVP is certainly one of the best to ever wear jersey number 55. But upon further investigation, and recollection, Orel Hershiser is the clear choice as the best MLB athlete to ever wear number 55.
Drafted by the L.A. Dodgers in 1979, Orel Hershiser didn't get his first MLB win until the age of 25 in 1984, when he went 11-8 with a 2.66 ERA for the year. He would go on to rack up wins the way that Dodger great Duke Snider racked up homers: prodigiously. After 18 MLB seasons, Hershiser would retire at the age of 41 with 204 games won. Some of his MLB career highlights:
- .864 winning percentage in 1985 (19-3 record, led league)
- 1988 league leader in wins (23)
- 2,014 career strikeouts
- 1988 NL Cy Young winner
- 1988 World Series MVP
- Twice led the NL in shutouts (1984 and 1988)
- 1988 NL leader in complete games
Did you know...............that Hershiser's nickname is "Bulldog"?