Many teams had a bullpen artist who specialized in geting lefties out. Magnante took it a step further, not only specializing in getting southpaws, but in getting them mainly in July and August. From the moment he began his career in 1991 with the Kansas City Royals, he struggled in the early going, with a 5.09 pre-All-Star Game ERA through the 2001 campaign.
But for some reason he found it easier going in those last two months of summer, posting up a 2.84 and 2.96 ERA in July and August, respectively. Magnante's managers empathized with his early-season struggles, and the tall Californian started each year in the minors until 1994. Unimpressive in his first full year as a big-leaguer(2-3, 4.60 ERA), he was sent back down in 1995. He didn't play another full season in the majors until 2001 with the Oakland Athletics when he gave up only 17 earned runs in 65 appearances. (EPW)
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FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»June 15, 1996: Kansas City relief pitcher Mike Magnante hurls five 1/3 innings of one-hit ball to gain credit for the Royals' 7-6, 16 inning win over the Orioles. The outing drops Magnante's ERA to 5.33.