Stephen Strasburg Bio
The shores of San Diego have been producing baseball greats back to the 1930s, when Hall of Famers Bob Lemon, Bobby Doerr and Ted Williams played for the Padres—then of the Pacific Coast League—on their way to the big leagues. Stephen Strasburg is San Diego’s latest high-profile contribution to major league baseball.
Strasburg is the 6’6” 220-pound righthander who, in case you were out of the universe in June, struck out 14 Pittsburgh Pirates in his debut with the Washington Nationals on June 8, 2010. He was born in San Diego to parents who both attended San Diego State; his mother is a dietician and his father is a real estate developer. Strasburg played high school ball at West Hills High in Santee where he holds ERA and shutout records. He was recruited by the best programs in the southwest--Arizona State, Arizona, UNLV, and Stanford—as well as Harvard and Yale.
He chose to stay near home and pitched for the San Diego State Aztecs starting with his freshman 2007 season, playing for head coach Tony Gwynn and pitching in Tony Gwynn Stadium. (The San Diego hometown theme continues further; according to his Aztec player profile, his favorite baseball player was Jake Peavy.) Strasburg reportedly showed up to SDSU weighing 255, but with a work ethic. “First to show up, first to throw up,” was the way one broadcaster recounted Strasburg’s first year of conditioning at SDSU.
Strasburg set a Mountain West Conference record during his sophomore year of 2008 at SDSU when he struck out 23 batters in a game against the University of Utah. He finished second in the nation’s collegiate ranks in strikeouts and third in both ERA and strikeouts per nine innings.
Strasburg was a member of the Team USA collegiate national team that went 24-0 during the summer of 2008. He was also the only collegiate player selected to the 2008 U.S. Summer Olympic baseball team in Beijing.
In 2009, his last season for the Aztecs, Strasburg went 13-1 with a 1.32 ERA and 195 strikeouts in 109 innings pitched—including a no-hitter in his last collegiate start. At the end of June, you could pick up a couple of his 2009 San Diego State pocket schedule cards on eBay for about $10.
Strasburg’s professional career began after he was drafted first overall in the 2009 MLB draft. He signed a record deal ($15.1 million for four years) with the Nationals and started playing professional ball in the Arizona Fall League. Strasburg married the former Rachelle Lackey in January, 2010. Part of the Strasburg signing story continued on the honeymoon: the couple honeymooned in Kaua’i, Hawaii, and Strasburg’s agent (Scott Boras) arranged to have Strasburg throw with a high school player every other day while on the honeymoon.
After an impressive spring training with the Nationals, he began pitching for the Double-A Harrisburg Senators in 2010. He then moved up to Triple-A with the Syracuse Chiefs. The hype followed him everywhere in the minor leagues, where he helped set numerous attendance records in both home and away parks when he started.
Strasburg set the Nationals team record for most strikeouts by a game (14) in his first start, against the Pirates, on June 8, 2010. In his second start, against the Indians, he came one short of the major league record for consecutive strikeouts when he struck out nine consecutive batters. He now holds the records for most strikeouts by a rookie after three and four starts.
Strasburg’s fifth start came against Tim Hudson and the Atlanta Braves on June 28. The rookie matched up with the respected veteran for the anticipated pitcher’s duel. Strasburg appeared to change his pitching style in the early innings, and then struck out five in a row during the fifth and sixth innings. But the Braves got the best of him in the seventh, and Hudson’s experience presumably won out as Atlanta beat Washington in an anticipated pitcher’s duel that lived up to its billing.
Stephen Strasburg Rookie Card, RARE! Limited Edition, 1 of only 900! MINT! NICE
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2013 Series 2 Cut to the Chase, Stephen Strasburg, Card #CTC-41, Nationals.
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2011 Topps Lineage Stephen Strasburg Baseball Card #160 Washington Nationals
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Stephen Strasburg 2012 Topps Gypsy Queen #184 Red Back GQ Parallel
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Stephen Strasburg 2013 Bowman Prospects State & Hometown Paralle #104
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