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Orel Hershiser Print E-mail
While he gained most of his fame in the major leagues, Orel Hershiser got his start on the mound at Bowling Green. Perhaps even more interesting is that he even got that start at all.

Arriving on campus with a partial scholarship, Hershiser didn't even make the team as a freshman. The disappointment in being cut along with failing grades caused him to leave school abruptly, hitchhiking his way east until the car he was riding in was involved in an accident in Pennsylvania. With hitchhiking further out of the question (it was illegal to hitchhike on an interstate in Pennsylvania), Hershiser found a motel and called his parents in suburban Detroit. The next day, he arrived home, with a promise to return to Bowling Green.

Orel enrolled in summer school at BG, and his grades improved. However, when tryouts came around again for the Falcon baseball team, he was left off the team once again. Working at his father's paper company the following summer, Orel's lanky frame began to fill out. Returning to Bowling Green that fall with fifteen pounds added to his body and a fastball five miles an hour faster, head coach Don Pervis gave Hershiser a spot on the roster, and he didn't disappoint. Hershiser made the all-MAC first team his junior year, which included a no-hitter vs. Kent State on May 4, 1979. At the end of the year, he accepted an offer to attend the minor league camp of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had drafted him in the 17th round of the MLB June Draft.

He made his major league debut on September 1, 1983, and would pitch 18 seasons in the majors. The highlight of his career was the 1988 season where he led the Dodgers to the World Series title. In that season, Hershiser led the league in wins (23), complete games (15), shutouts (8), and innings pitched (267). He finished the regular season by pitching 59 scoreless innings, breaking the record set in 1968 by Don Drysdale. In the World Series, Hershiser allowed just two earned runs on seven hits and struck out 17 in two complete game performances as the Dodgers beat the Oakland A's in five games to win the World Series. He was the unanimous choice for the NL Cy Young Award that year, as well as being named Sports Illustrated's "Sportsman of the Year", among many other accolades.

He made it back to the Fall Classic in 1995 and 1997 as a member of the Cleveland Indians, going a combined 1-3 in four World Series starts for the Indians. He also pitched for the Giants and Mets before returning to the Dodgers for the 2000 season. He went 1-5 that season before retiring at the age of 41.

Hershiser was inducted to the BG Athletic Hall of Fame in 1985.
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