On December 9, 1992, the Cubs signed Randall Kirk Myers to be their new closer. Little did we know how nasty the former “Nasty Boy” could be.
Myers was coming off a shaky season, but the change of scenery served him well. In 75.1 innings, he saved a staggering 53 games, punching out 86 batters and compiling a 3.11 ERA. The strike-shortened 1994 season was another solid campaign for Myers. He was named to the National League All Star Team and finished the year with 21 saves in 40.1 innings.
In 1995, Myers turned in another strong effort, saving 38 games in 55.2 innings. Cub fans may remember a bizarre incident that took place that September. After giving up a two-run homer to James Mouton, the lefty closer found himself in a fight with an intoxicated fan who jumped the wall and charged the mound. The scuffle turned out badly for said fan, as the 230-pound Myers was also a black belt in karate.
Myers filed for free agency that off season and ended up signing with the Baltimore Orioles. By 1998, he was out of baseball at the age of 35. In 14 seasons he racked up an impressive 347 saves.
Considering the Cubs terrible history with relief pitchers, the Randy Myers experience has to be considered an overwhelming success. For $12 million the Cubs got 112 saves and a one-sided fight with a drunken fan. That’s a victory in my book.