(Born September 30, 1980) -- You’d have to say that Bryan Bullington was one of those players whose fame greatly outdistanced his performance. He had a lot of stops along the way to make that true, and one of them was Buffalo.
In 1999, Bullington was an outstanding pitcher in high school. The Indiana product went 15-0, and threw a one-hitter to win the state finals. That earned him a ticket to Ball State University, where he was a standout. Not many pitchers strike out 139 while walking 18 in 104 innings.
Bullington was the first overall pick in the amateur draft, going to the Pirates. He started climbing the minor-league ladder in 2003, and made his major-league debut in 2005. But injuries cost him his 2006 season, and by the middle of 2008 the Pirates had given up on him by placing him on waivers.
Bullington was claimed by the Cleveland Indians, who sent him to Buffalo. As a Bison, where he went 1-3 with a 4.75 ERA in 10 games. The Indians were convinced that Bullington wouldn’t help them either, and he was waived to Toronto.
The baseball journey took the 6-foot-4 right-hander to Las Vegas and Omaha. Then in 2011, Bulllington jumped across the ocean to play for Hiroshima in Japan. Barring a new development, he’ll finish his career with a 1-9 record in the major leagues.
--- Budd Bailey