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Don August

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Donald Glenn August

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[edit] Biographical Information

Don August competed on behalf of the United States in the 1984 Olympics, the first time the Olympics included baseball among its events. He later pitched for over a decade in the pro ranks, covering at least five countries, including four years in the major leagues. He was 169-148 overall in professional baseball.

[edit] 1982: Collegiate Baseball

Don played for the Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks in 1982 out of Chapman College.

[edit] 1984-1985: Draft and AA

A Division II All-American as per the American College Baseball Coaches Association, August was the 7th overall pick in the 1984 amateur draft, taken by the Houston Astros. He debuted professionally the next season, going 14-8 with a 2.96 ERA for the Columbus Astros despite allowing over a hit per inning. He was second in the Southern League in ERA, sandwiched between Knoxville hurlers Steve Davis and Mark Eichhorn.

[edit] 1986-1988: AAA

Don had a similar season in 1986. He pitched 24 games for the Tucson Toros before being traded with Mark Knudson to the Milwaukee Brewers for Danny Darwin on August 15, throwing three games with the Vancouver Canadians. He had a composite 10-10, 3.37 record and again was second in his league in ERA, trailing only Dave Johnson. Surprisingly, in both 1985 and 1986, he was left off the league All-Star teams and was not named one of the top 10 prospects in the league by Baseball America.

In 1987, August struggled for the first time as a pro. He managed a 10-9 record despite a 5.57 ERA for the Denver Bears. As it was a high-offense environment, his ERA was just below team average but led the American Association in both hits allowed (220) and runs allowed (124).

The Californian hurler returned to Denver in 1988 and started 4-1 with a 3.52 ERA. He walked just 14 in 71 2/3 innings pitched. He was then called up to Milwaukee.

[edit] 1988-1991: Milwaukee and Denver

Don was a rookie sensation. He went 13-7 with a 3.09 ERA (128 ERA+) for the 1988 Brewers. He ranked 9th in the 1988 AL in winning percentage and would have been 8th in ERA had he qualified. He was chosen for the Baseball Digest Rookie All-Star Team and was 4th in voting for the 1988 American League Rookie of the Year Award.

August slipped badly in 1989 but his record remained solid (12-12). His ERA was 5.31, a 73 ERA+. The highlight of his season was being the winning pitcher in the first game ever played at Toronto's SkyDome, 5-3 over the Blue Jays on June 5th. He was briefly relegated back to Denver, where he was 1-1 with a 4.94 ERA. Don's troubles got even worse the next year. For the 1990 Brewers, he had a 6.55 ERA and went 0-3. He spent almost the whole year with Denver, where his record was just as bad - 7-7, 6.75, an ERA over a point and a half worse than the team average.

Don won his only game for Denver in 1991, allowing no runs, and again had a deceptively good record with Milwaukee. He went 9-8 for the 1991 Brewers with a 5.47 ERA (73 ERA+). He had finished his major league career at 34-30 with a 4.64 ERA (85 ERA+).

[edit] 1992-1995: Roaming North America

August signed with the Detroit Tigers and split 1992 between the London Tigers (3-2, 2.72) and Toledo Mud Hens (0-2, 8.59), only pitching in 17 games all year. In 1993, he moved to the Puebla Parrots, where he went 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA and the Charlotte Knights (3-1, 5.48).

He had a 3.86 ERA in 4 games for the 1994 Wichita Wranglers, but his WHIP was 1.97. He spent most of the year with Puebla and the Campeche Pirates. Combined, he had a 11-9, 2.22 record for the two Mexican League teams and was 5th in the Liga Mexicana in ERA. His 13 complete games were second in the LMB and his six shutouts tied Francisco Montano for the Liga lead.

Overall, he was 15-15 with a 2.52 ERA in Mexico.

Don finished his North American career with the 1995 Calgary Cannons, going 0-2 with a 4.50 ERA. He had been 53-43 in the US-based minors, 68-58 in the minor leagues altogether and 102-88 in Organized Baseball.

[edit] 1995-1999: Taiwan

August went to Taiwan for most of 1995. With the Jungo Bears, August went 4-5 with 13 saves and a 3.58 ERA in 39 games. The next year, he was 14-13 with one save and a 4.06 ERA for the Sinon Bulls.

In 1997, Don went 10-12 with a 3.51 ERA for the Kao-ping Fala in the new Taiwan Major League. The next season, August was 19-5 with a 2.56 ERA for Kao-ping. He was 4th in the TML in ERA and led in wins. The right-hander slipped to 5-13, 3.82 in 1999 but still was 10th in the league in ERA.

Overall, he had gone 52-58 in five years in Taiwan with a 3.49 ERA.

[edit] 2000: Italy

August moved to Italy with Rimini in 2000 and was 9-2 with a 2.06 ERA in the regular season with only 18 BB in 109 1/3 IP. In the post-season, he was 0-2 with a 2.65 ERA in the semifinals but 2-0 in the Italy Series with a 1.59 ERA to help the club to a title.

Sources include 1986-1987 Baseball America Statistics Reports, 1988-2001 Baseball Almanacs, Michael Westbay's Taiwanese Baseball Data Project, Federazione Italiana Baseball Softball player page

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