Remember That Guy: Steve Trout

Chris Kamka
NBC Sports Chicago
Remembering Steve Trout's tenure with the Cubs.

Remember That Guy: Steve Trout

Remembering Steve Trout's tenure with the Cubs.

Remember That Guy: Steve Trout originally appeared on

Steve Trout's father was Dizzy. Seriously. Paul Trout was a major league pitcher from 1939-52 and again for two games in 1957. His nickname was Dizzy. In fact, Trout, not Dean, was the Dizzy with the most career wins - 170 to 150.

Steve was born in 1957 - the year his father returned to the majors for two final games with the Baltimore Orioles. He was born in Detroit, which is where Dizzy had his best seasons. Steve grew up in the Chicagoland area while his father worked in the White Sox front office (Dizzy died when Steve was in eighth grade), and the White Sox drafted him eighth overall out of Thornwood High School in South Holland in 1976.

From the 1982 White Sox media guide:

"There are those who think the nickname 'Dizzy' also applies to Steve, but only one to a family, he is stuck with the nickname his teammates at Thornwood High School (South Holland) hung on him: 'Rainbow.'"

The 6-foot-4 inch southpaw made his MLB Debut for White Sox July 1, 1978, tossing the final inning of an eventual 10-0 blowout loss at Minnesota. He was sent back down to the minors but returned in September and went 3-0 in three starts to finish the season.

A highlight from 1980: on July 13 at Comiskey Park, Trout and the Yankees' Rudy May locked up in a pitchers' duel where May took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Trout took one into the eighth. The Yankees ended up a 3-1 winner.

1981 might have been Trout's best season with the White Sox if not for the strike. He had a 2.73 ERA in 10 starts prior to the stoppage, but he struggled to a 4.39 ERA in 10 games (eight starts) after play resumed.

In January 1983, Trout was involved in a crosstown trade, heading to the Cubs along with Warren Brusstar in exchange for Scott Fletcher, Randy Martz, Pat Tabler and Dick Tidrow. Trout spent the next four and a half seasons on the North Side. He led the 1984 division champs in innings (190.0), while posting a solid 3.41 ERA. He got the win with 8 1/3 innings of five-hit, two-run ball in Game 2 of the NLCS vs San Diego, then recorded two outs of relief without allowing anything in Game 5.

1985 had promise, with a career low 3.39 ERA, but Trout only made 24 starts due to ulnar nerve problems in his left arm. He also missed a start on Sept. 8 against the Reds due to a bicycle accident (rumor was that he fell off a stationary bicycle). When Pete Rose saw the news that Reggie Patterson was starting in place of Trout, he inserted himself into the lineup and ended up with career hit No. 4,190 and 4,191, which tied Ty Cobb's career total (or it passed Cobb... the story of Ty Cobb's disputed career hit total is a subject for another day).

In 1986, Trout had a rough 4.75 ERA in 161 innings, but he did have a 98-inning streak without allowing a home run from May to early August. Trout was stingy with the home run ball during his career, but particularly to lefties - he allowed only 10 home runs to lefties in 1,191 plate appearances against.

At the All-Star break in 1987, the Cubs were 47-41 but were 10 games back, and Trout was unloaded to the Yankees for Rich Scheid, Dean Wilkins and newly-named Cubs mental skills coordinator Bob Tewksbury. The Cubs sold high, as Trout's final two starts with the team were complete game shutouts. No Cub has tossed consecutive shutouts since. The Big Apple wasn't a good fit for Trout; he was 0-4 with a 6.60 ERA in 14 games (nine starts) to finish the season for the Yankees.

After the season, Trout was traded to the Mariners, where he struggled for a season and a half. He hung it up after a four-game trial for the Cardinals' Triple-A Louisville team in 1990.

Trout attempted a comeback with the Pirates in 1997, but never caught on. He has served as a coach for the Windy City Thunderbolts (Frontier League), and at Moloka'i High School in Hawai'i, among other places.

Since wrapping up his MLB career, Trout has displayed a passion for teaching the game, running baseball camps throughout the world. Trout has also authored two books - one a children's book called "Loosey-Goosey Baseball," and the other one he wrote about himself and his father. That book is called "Home Plate: The Journal of the Most Flamboyant Father and Son Pitching Combination in Major League History."

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