Kirt Ojala

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Kirt Stanley Ojala

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Biographical Information[edit]

Kirt Ojala, who pitched for the Florida Marlins from 1997 to 1999, was the last lefty knuckleballer in the major leagues (through 2008).

Kirt Stanley Ojala starred at Portage Central High School, then went on to play at the University of Michigan. The New York Yankees drafted Ojala in the fourth round of the June draft in 1990, and Ojala spent six years in the New York system. In 1995, Ojala was a teammate of Derek Jeter on the Columbus Clippers. He was released by the Yanks at the end of spring training in 1996.

After a year in the Cincinnati Reds organization, Ojala was claimed by Florida on waivers. He appeared in seven games, starting five of them, late in the Fighting Fish's championship 1997 season. Though Ojala didn't appear in October, he did get a 1997 World Series ring.

In 1998, after the great purge of the world champions, Ojala went 2-7 in 41 games (13 starts) with the Marlins, posting a respectable 4.25 ERA. After getting hammered early in the 1999 season, Ojala was sent back to the minors for good.

Arm problems ended his career after seven games with Double-A Trenton in the Boston Red Sox system in 2000.

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