Dennis Cook

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Dennis Bryan Cook

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Biographical Information[edit]

“I’m just a guy who worked hard to get into this position. Nobody recruited me out of high school. The Houston kids got all the publicity. If a scout came to town, we all figured he was from the Marines. I had to go to a tryout camp to get a junior college scholarship. I had to earn my way to Texas and then into the big leagues. I was an 18th round pick. Tell you the truth, I’m glad it worked out that way. I think when the odds are against you, you work harder because there’s nothing to lose. I’ve always been a longshot.” - Dennis Cook, 1991

Dennis Cook was a journeyman reliever and swingman who made 665 appearances in 15 seasons.

Cook was an 18th rounder in the 1985 amateur draft by the San Francisco Giants and scout Andy Korenek. In the minors from 1985 to 1988, he was in the Texas League in 1987, recording a 9-2, 2.13 mark in 16 games. In 1988, when he went 11-9 with the Phoenix Firebirds in the Pacific Coast League, he earned his first shot at the majors late in the season, going 2-1, 2.86 in 4 starts. In 1989, he was 7-4 with Phoenix, then after a couple of starts with San Francisco, he began his journey around the majors when he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies alongside Terry Mulholland and Charlie Hayes in return for bullpen ace Steve Bedrosian on June 18th. He went 6-8, 3.99 for Philadelphia.

After starting 1990 by going 8-3, 3.56 in 42 games as a swingman, he was traded again, this time to the Los Angeles Dodgers on September 13th in return for C Darrin Fletcher. He went 1-1, 7.53 with the Dodgers in late September and was back in the minors for 21 games in 1991, then as a lefty specialist for the major league team, he had a tiny 0.51 ERA in 20 games. However, this was not enough to keep him from moving to the Cleveland Indians for Rudy Seanez before the 1992 season. The Indians put him back into the starting rotation, and he went 5-7, 3.82 in 32 games. He was back in the minors for 12 games in 1993 while going 5-5, 5.67 in his familiar swingman role in the majors. He ping-ponged in the AL Central from the Indians to the Chicago White Sox in 1994 and back to Cleveland in 1995 until the middle of the season when he went to the Texas Rangers. He set a new career-high with 60 appearances, all in relief, for Texas in 1996 and also pitched in the postseason for the first time that year. In 1997, he was a key bullpen piece for the Florida Marlins in their World Series triumph, allowing no earned runs in nine innings across three rounds of the postseason while picking up the victory in Game 3 of the World Series over his former team, the Indians.

In fact, Dennis was a remarkable postseason pitcher, allowing no runs in 19 games (16 1/3 innings) with 16 strikeouts across nine postseason series during his career. He made a return trip to the World Series in 2000, a losing effort with the New York Mets, with whom he did his finest work, winning 10 games in 1999 with a 3.86 ERA after an 8-4, 2.38 season in a career-high 73 games in 1998. Dennis moved back to the Phillies during the 2001 season and finished his career with 37 games for the Anaheim Angels in 2002, not appearing in the postseason as the club won their first world championship. Dennis finished his career with a 64-46 record, 3.91 ERA and 9 saves in 1,011 2/3 innings. He was an unusually good hitter for a pitcher, with a .264 lifetime batting average (29-for-110) and 2 home runs, one a three-run shot off Fernando Valenzuela in 1990. Lifetime in the minors, his record was 57-40.

Cook, who is of Swedish descent, coached for the Swedish national team in the 2009 Baseball World Cup and managed them in the 2010 European Championship and 2014 European Championship. He coached for the German national team in the 2017 WBC Qualifiers. In 2018, he became pitching coach of the Chatham Anglers in the Cape Cod Baseball League.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Related Sites[edit]