Player: David Eiland
Card: 1991 Fleer #661
Errors: Fixated stare. Player appears to be proposing to card's owner. Overabundance of yellow.
Comments: A first glance at David Eiland's career numbers (12 wins, 27 losses, 5.74 ERA) doesn't necessarily blow you away.
In 10 years, he never won more than four games in a single season, and never pitched more than 80 innings.
But David (never Dave!) Eiland's career was defined by one thing: his left leg. It was the only leg he had.
As seen above, David Eiland lost his right leg in a somewhat horrible bumper car accident. Did he let that tragedy stop him from achieving his big league dreams? For the most part, no.
Unfortunately, in 2000, after three seasons with the Devil Rays, Eiland retired. You can play baseball with one hand or one arm, but it's only a matter of time before Joe Girardi instructs every player on his team to bunt on a one-legged pitcher.
Though his time was brief, Americans will always remember his one shining moment in 1992. The country was still trying to come to grips with the difficult emotions that swirled around the acquittal of four officers who were videotaped beating Rodney King. Tensions were high. Hope was em-dashed.
Wearing his specially modified San Diego Padres uniform, David Eiland came up to the plate for the first time...and socked the only home run of his career.
Millions of Americans cried during David Eiland's home-run hop around the bases. We saw the potential in each of us. We learned that true greatness comes from our heart - not from the right ankle, knee cap or calf.
Three cheers to you, David Eiland. While statistics are temporary, one-legged pitchers are forever.