Ex-Baseball Pitcher Strikes Back At Erin Hills

By USGA Wire Services
August 23, 2011

Erin, Wis. – Mike Ignasiak is back in the big leagues this week – the big leagues of amateur golf, that is.

Ignasiak, 45, spent parts of four seasons in Major League Baseball, pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1991 and from 1993-95. He compiled a 10-4 record with a 4.80 earned-run average, but a succession of problems with his lower back eventually forced him to call it a career.

“I actually turned down a contract with the Yankees right after the (1995) season,” Ignasiak said. “They offered me a deal but I said, ‘You know what, let’s just wait.’ And I love Boston, so I signed with the Red Sox. Then I hurt my back in ’96 spring training and the Yankees went on to win the World Series that year.”

If the end was forgettable, Ignasiak will never forget the way his major league career began. “I was pitching in Toronto against John Olerud,” he said. “I was petrified. I mean, if the stadium hadn’t had a dome on it, I might not have kept the ball in the stadium.

“I have no idea how I got it to the plate. But B.J. Surhoff caught it on the outside corner for a strike, and I said to myself, ‘You’re in the big leagues!’”

Ignasiak had a similar experience on Tuesday. After a disappointing 76 at Blue Mound Golf and Country Club on Monday, he started the second round with back-to-back bogeys. If he had been on the mound at Miller Park, he might have gotten the hook.

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