Former UA All-American Erickson flies with Orioles

By Sam Spiller
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 13, 1996

Gregory Harris
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Former Arizona ace Scott Erickson was the starting pitcher for the Alumni in Sunday's Bank One All-Pro Alumni Game.


Sunday's Bank One All-Pro Alumni marked the return of Scott Erickson to Sancet Field.

Erickson's 1989 season at Arizona is the stuff of legend, and still hangs in the minds of the UA faithful. In that season he started 20 games and pitched 172.2 innings for a record of 18-3, the fifth-best percentage in Wildcat history. He was named an All-American and the Pacific 10 Conference Southern Division co-MVP.

"Scott has the best work habits we've ever had in a player here at the university in the 20 years that I've coached. A real model of conditioning and hard work," head coach Jerry Kindall said in the All-Pro Alumni Yearbook.

In June of 1989, Erickson was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in the fourth round and quickly made a name for himself in their minor-league system. He was called up to the pros on June 21, 1990.

The watershed year for Erickson came in 1991, when he won 20 games and finished second behind Roger Clemens in the Cy Young balloting. In the 1991 World Series the Twins played the Braves, and Erickson started in a 4-3 win in Game Six.

Another landmark in Scott Erickson's career came on April 27, 1994 when he threw his first no-hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers.

In July of 1995, Erickson was traded to the Baltimore Orioles. Leading up to the trade Erickson had a 4-6 record and a 5.95 ERA, but his numbers much improved with the Orioles as Erickson had a 9-4 record and a 3.89 ERA. In the 13 starts for the Orioles, Erickson had seven complete games and threw two shutouts. As a team the Orioles led the American League with 46 games decided by two runs or less, four of which were Erickson's.

"He's worth every penny they're paying him. He's a teriffic competitor and he did that for us here. He won 18 ball games for us in '89 and set a record and he's carried that same competitive spirit up to the big leagues," Kindall said.

Despite the years in the big leagues, Erickson still enjoys coming back to Tucson. In the Alumni game, he pitched one inning, allowing one hit and giving up a run.

"This is great, everyone gets to come out and see each other. We haven't seen each other probably since last year," Erickson said of the Alumni Game. "It's a lot of fun to hang out for about three or four days."

The Orioles have made key acquisitions in the offseason to bolster a team which already includes players like Cal Ripken Jr., Bobby Bonilla and Rafael Palmiero. The new additions of second baseman Roberto Alomar of the Blue Jays and pitcher Kent Mercker of the World Champion Braves will no doubt make the Orioles an early favorite in the American League.

"We should have a real good team. They went out and made some good offseason acquisitions, and hopefully we'll be in the thick of things around September," Erickson said.