- Baby-faced Assassin
- August 7, 1973
- 5' 11"
- 200 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 7-13-1996 with CLE
- Allstar Selections:
- 2002 LG
Daniel Peter Graves (born August 7, 1973 in Saigon, South Vietnam) is a former Major League Baseball pitcher. Born to an American serviceman father and a Vietnamese mother, he is the only Vietnam-born player in the history of the major leagues, and one of the few Vietnamese-American players. Graves pitched for most of his career for the Cincinnati Reds, where he was team's saves leader each year from 1999-2004, except for 2003 when he was a starting pitcher.
He played college baseball at the University of Miami.
High school and college
Graves's family moved to the U.S. when he was fourteen months old. He graduated from Brandon High School in Brandon, Florida and was awarded a baseball scholarship to the University of Miami. As a right-handed relief pitcher for the school as a junior, he posted a 0.89 earned run average and led collegiate baseball with a school-record 21 saves.
Major League Baseball career
Graves was selected by the Cleveland Indians in the fourth round of the 1994 Major League Baseball Draft. Two days after being drafted, he tore his ACL during the College World Series. After a year of rehabilitation, he was named Cleveland's top minor league pitcher of 1995, and was in the major leagues a year later. He was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in July 1997.
In his first nine seasons with Cleveland and Cincinnati, Graves compiled a 40-42 record as a pitcher with 406 strikeouts, a 3.89 ERA, and 172 saves in 755.2 innings. He is the only player ever to have more than one season in which all his hits were home runs. This happened in 2000 and 2001, with one homer each.
The 2005 season did not start well for Graves. He struggled, posting a 7.36 ERA through 20 games. Fans in Cincinnati took notice and consistently booed Graves, leading up to a May 23rd incident when Graves made an obscene hand gesture to the crowd while being taken out of the game by the Reds' manager. He was later signed as a free agent by the New York Mets on June 11, 2005.
After putting up a 5.89 ERA with the Mets, he was designated for assignment on August 23, 2005. He cleared waivers and was sent to Triple-A Norfolk on August 26, but was called back up to the Mets when rosters expanded. Graves was 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA in five games with Norfolk.
On December 19, 2005, Graves signed a minor league contract with the Cleveland Indians. He pitched well in spring training, earning a spot in the Indian bullpen, but was designated for assignment on May 12, 2006 after he opened the season with a 2-1 record and 5.79 ERA in 13 relief appearances.
On May 18, 2006, Graves was assigned to the Indians' Triple-A affiliate, the Buffalo Bisons, in Buffalo. He finished the 2006 season with the Bisons, with a 4.01 ERA (1 Win 1 Loss).
Graves signed a minor league deal with the Rockies on December 19, 2006 but released during Spring Training in March 2007 prior to the season. During the 2007 season, Graves was on the roster of the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, leading the league in saves.
Graves later signed with the Minnesota Twins on March 30, 2008, and played for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings most of the year. He became a free agent at the end of the season and signed a minor league contract with the Houston Astros in January 2009. He was released by the Astros on March 25, 2009.
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