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Matt Whiteside

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Matthew Christopher Whiteside ("Whitey")

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Matt "Whitey" Whiteside graduated from Charleston High School in Charleston, Missouri in 1985. He lettered in baseball, football and basketball while in high school. He threw four shutouts in his senior year of baseball. In college at Arkansas State University, he was American South Conference Player of the Year in 1990.He graduated with a degree in physical education.

Signed by Jim Dreyer and Doug Gassaway, both scouts for the Texas Rangers, he spent less than three successful seasons in the minors before making his major league debut on August 5, 1992 pitching for the Rangers at the age of 24. He made his debut against the Oakland Athletics, pitching a perfect inning against them. His first season in the majors was very successful - in 20 games in relief, he posted a small 1.93 ERA, saving four games.

The rest of his career was not as successful as his rookie season. Between 1993 and 2001, the lowest ERA he had in a season was 4.08, while the highest was 13.91. He pitched for the Rangers until 1997,m then moved around. He was sixth in the league in games pitched in 1994. During his stay in the rangers' organization, he was a teammate of Rusty Greer for seven seasons - longer than any other teammate. He gave up Mark McGwire's eighth home run in his then-record setting 70 home run 1998 season on April 17.

After 13 games in the majors in 2001 with the Atlanta Braves (who picked him up as a free agent), he bounced around in the minors and international baseball until 2005. In 2003, he spent some time in Japan, pitching for the Yokohama Bay Stars of the Central League. By the mid-2000s, he had established himself as a very successful closer in the minors, saving 38 games in 2004 with the Richmond Braves (an International League record until topped by Jonathan Albaladejo in 2010) and saving 27 games in 2005 for the Syracuse SkyChiefs; he was an International League All-Star in 2004, but was suspended for 15 games in 2005 for violating the Minor League Drug and Prevention Treatment Program. In 2005, he was called up to the majors for a short two-game stint with the Toronto Blue Jays. He did terribly in that short time - in 3 2/3 innings, he gave up eight earned runs (six hits, three home runs, five walks, one hit batter) for an ERA of 19.64. Those were his last major league appearances. He spent 2006 with the Indianapolis Indians, posting a 1.69 ERA in 20 games, collecting 10 saves.

He started only one game in his major league career, on July 20, 1997. He pitched four innings, giving up six hits and five earned runs. Even with that dismal performance, he walked away with a no-decision. He had a .000 career batting average, going 0 for 2 at the plate, and a .912 career fielding percentage.

In 1996, he served as a guest judge at the Miss USA Pageant. At last check, Whiteside still resides in Charleston, MO.

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