Friday, February 4, 2011
#393) PETE SCHOUREK
Pete Schourek was selected by the New York Mets in the second round of the free agent draft on June 2, 1987. The left-hander was recalled all the way from Double-A Williamsport to make his major-league debut on April 9, 1991. He pitched a scoreless inning and a third in the 2-1 victory over the Phillies at Shea Stadium. "My first time pitching I just remember trying to be so focused on throwing strikes and what I needed to do in order to not be intimidated and nervous," recalls Schourek.
Moved to the starting rotation, Pete recorded his first major-league win on September 10th. A complete-game 9-0 shutout of the Montreal Expos at Shea for a struggling Mets team. The rookie threw his one-hitter in front of a small New York crowd of 9,882 fans. "I hope that this last month I can lock down a job," said Schourek following the contest. "When the opportunity is right here in front of you and you can't get a good outing, it's really frustrating." Catcher Todd Hundley offered, "We've come up through the system together. The guy really has good stuff."
The Mets placed Pete into the staring rotation for 1992. He made 21 starts, but was the continued victim of little run support in many of them. Shourek's 6-8 record was not representative of his 3.64 ERA. "Nolan Ryan hasn't had much run support his whole career, but I haven't heard him complain too much over the last 25 years." Pete told reporters. "I take losing hard, but I take no escapes from responsibility."
Shourek found the next year even more challenging when Dallas Green was brought onboard as a mid-season replacement to Mets manager, Jeff Torborg. As Pete struggled on the mound it seemed Green was anxious to share his displeasure in the New York newspapers. "I think it was more mental and a little physical," said Schourek. "I went back and forth and then Dallas came in and we had our little escapades, or whatever, and I got all bad." The result was a 5-12 record and 5.96 ERA for a Mets team that finished with 103 total losses.
The Mets attempted to option Pete to the minors at the start of the next season. He was claimed off waivers by the Cincinnati Reds on April 7, 1994. "I learned a lot of lessons last year, and one was that stuff's going to happen no matter what, so there is no sense beating myself over the head about it," Schourek said following the announcement. "I think it will be nice to start all over. I've always wanted to be with the same team my whole career, but that just doesn't happen very much anymore." Pete lived up to his promise while a member of the Reds. In 1995, he finished second to Greg Maddux in the National League Cy Young Award voting after winning 18 games with a 3.22 ERA.
Following his 10-year major-league career he remained involved in baseball as a pitching instructor for the Virginia Baseball Club, Inc. He has participated in many baseball and basketball leagues in the Virginia area. "I don't have the greatest stuff anymore, but I still have pretty decent stuff," explained Pete. "I usually get everyone's best game."
His father, Joe Schourek spent 13 years on the faculty and as the baseball coach at Gonzaga College High School. The longtime coach retired in 2008 after a total of 33 years instructing players.
Pete Schourek signed his card in the set for famous Mets fan, Jim Fertitta during the Mets Fantasy Camp in Port St. Lucie, Florida on January 15, 2011.