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Rhéal Cormier

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Rhéal Paul Cormier

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[edit] Biographical Information

Rhéal Cormier was a lefthanded pitcher who spent most of his career as a lefty specialist relief pitcher. Originally a starting pitcher with the St. Louis Cardinals and Montreal Expos, he was converted to a full-time reliever in 1999 with the Boston Red Sox as a result of arm problems. After the season he signed a long-term contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Despite up-and-down seasons, he posted a career year in 2003 at the age of 36: in 84 appearances, ranking third in the National League, he had a 1.70 ERA. Cormier later posted poor ERAs, and he made his last major league appearance in 2007, just days short of his 40th birthday, then pitched for Canada in the 2008 Olympics.

He is nicknamed "Frenchie" for being from French Canada, although in Quebec, his nickname is "l'Acadien" (The Acadian), a more precise reference to his origins.

Cormier was a member of the Canadian Junior National Team in 1985.

While at the Community College of Rhode Island, he was named All-American in 1987 and 1988. He was signed as a 6th round pick in the 1988 amateur draft by the St. Louis Cardinals and scout Joe Rigoli.

Cormier first appeared for Team Canada in the 1987 Intercontinental Cup, going 3-0 with a 0.57 ERA; he was the only non-Cuban in the top 6 in ERA in the Cup, trailing Pablo Abreu and Rogelio García. He tied García, Jorge Luis Valdés and Rene Arocha for the most wins in the tournament. The rest of Canada's staff was 1-9 in the event. Cormier was 1-1 with a 5.71 ERA for the Canadian national team in the 1988 Baseball World Cup. His 22 strikeouts (in 17 1/3 IP) tied Yi-Hsin Chen, Charles Nagy and Andy Benes for 4th in the tourney, but he also walked 10 and allowed 19 hits. 20 years later, he was with Canada for the 2008 Olympics, allowing no runs but 4 baserunners in 2 1/3 IP. He allowed an inherited runner to score the winning run in a 5-4 loss to Team USA, allowing a double by Terry Tiffee to score Brian Barden.

He was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012.

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2008 Canadian Olympic roster

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