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September 9, 2011

Friday 5: Jack McDowell

This past weekend, one of my favorite bands (Pearl Jam) celebrated their 20 years together with an epic two-night concert event.

But did you know that the band’s frontman Eddie Vedder shares a special bond with 1993 American League Cy Young Award winner Jack McDowell?

And it has nothing to do with music.

One of them is a San Dieguito Academy alum…the other is their varsity baseball coach.  And, sure, it was a lame segue…but it was the only way to get to this week’s “Friday 5” with fellow Pearl Jam fan “Black Jack”.

HOVG:  Right off the bat, I've gotta know…where do you keep your Cy Young Award.

BLACK JACK:  My Cy Young Award is hanging on my wall in my office.

HOVG:  During your career, what batter gave you the most trouble.

BLACK JACK:  2011 Hall of Fame inductee Roberto Alomar.  (Note:  Alomar was 17-for-35, good for a .486 batting average against McDowell)

HOVG:  Is there anyone out there today that you'd love to face off against?

BLACK JACK:  I’d like to face Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals…just to see how it'd go. 

HOVG:  Alright, let’s talk music…what five bands occupy the most space in your mp3 device or on your record shelf?

BLACK JACK:  The Replacements, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, The Smiths, The Beatles occupy the most space.

HOVG:  Who are your current favorites?

BLACK JACK:  My faves at the moment are Glen Campbell, Arcade Fire and Deathcab for Cutie.

HOVG:  You’ve been making music for a few decades now and have played with a number of fellow ballplayers along the way.  Who is the most musically inclined?

BLACK JACK:  Former teammates Scott Radinsky and Bernie Williams.

Jack McDowell played in the Majors from 1987 until 1999, putting together an impressive 127-87 record and a 3.85 ERA.

In 1993, while with the Chicago White Sox, he took home the American League Cy Young Award after going 22-10 with a 3.37 ERA.  That same season, McDowell set a modern (post-1950) record by recording a decision in each of his first 27 starts.

As mentioned before, “Black Jack” is currently the varsity baseball coach at San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas, California. can still catch him rocking out with his band Stickfigure from time to time.

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