In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
Pitching with the Baltimore Orioles, Jesse Orosco makes his 1,051st relief appearance to break Kent Tekulve's major league record. Orosco would retire in 2003, playing 24 seasons with nine teams, appearing in 1,252 games; all but four were in relief. The previous record was held by Kent Tekulve, who played 16 seasons from 1974-1989, primarily with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Orosco pitched one-third of an inning and was charged with a blown save as the Orioles lost to the New York Yankees 9-8 at Camden Yards.
Jesse Orosco was born on April 21, 1957, in Santa Barbara, California. The Minnesota Twins drafted Orosco in the second round of the 1978 MLB Draft out of Santa Barbara City College. One year later, he was traded to the New York Mets as the player to be named later in the deal that sent longtime Mets fan favorite Jerry Koosman to the Twins. Jessee Orosco made the Mets' opening day roster in 1979, finishing off a 10-6 win against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field to start the season. Orosco made 18 appearances with the Mets in 1979, including two starts before returning to the minors.
Jesse Orosco returned to the majors in 1981, making two more starts in eight appearances, before spending the remainder of his career in the bullpen. Orosco had a breakout season in 1983, making the first of two consecutive All-Star appearances. Despite playing on a last-place team, Jesse Orosco finished third in Cy Young voting with 17 saves, 13 wins, and a career-best 1.47 ERA. Over the next few seasons, the Mets turned into contenders as Orosco was the lefty in the Mets 1-2 closer combo with Roger McDowell. In the 1986 NLCS, Jesse Orosco recorded three wins, including Game 6, to send New York to the World Series. He was on the mound when the 1986 Mets won Game 7 of the World Series, earning the save as he fell to his knees after striking out Marty Barrett. Ironically when the Mets won the World Series in 1969, it was Jerry Koosman, the man he was traded for on the mound.
The Mets traded Jesse Orosco after the 1987 season; he would land with the Los Angeles Dodgers after a three-team deal that included the Oakland Athletics. Orosco spent eight seasons with the Mets and one season with the Dodgers winning a second World Series ring in 1988. Over the next decade, Jesse Orosco became the left-handed reliever for hire. He spent three seasons with the Cleveland Indians and three seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers before he found himself in Baltimore in 1995.
Jesse Orosco briefly returned to the Mets in 2000 but was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of spring training for Joe McEwing. After a season in St. Louis, Orosco spent two years with the Dodgers before pitching with the San Diego Padres, New York Yankees, and Minnesota Twins in 2003, his final season. Jesse Orosco compiled a record of 87-80, with 144 saves and an ERA of 3.16.