Daniel Bard may be a name that is familiar if you’ve been a fan of Major League Baseball for at least seven years. The hard-throwing Houston native was a top prospect for the Red Sox, who he played for from 2009 to 2013. Bard actually holds the record for consecutive scoreless appearances while with the Red Sox in 2011 with 25, and his fastball was clocked as high as 102 mph on the radar gun.
Now Bard has made the Colorado Rockies Opening Day roster seven years after his last pitch in Major League Baseball. Bard was phenomenal for the Red Sox from 2009 through most of 2011, which was highlighted by a 1.93 ERA over 73 appearances in 2010. However, Bard aided the Red Sox’ epic collapse in 2011, which saw them go from a 99.6% postseason expectation to missing the playoffs after losing 18 of 24 games. Bard posted an 0-4 record with a 10-plus ERA in September that year, while issuing more walks than he had all season.
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In 2012, the Red Sox attempted to make him a starter (Bard was drafted as a starter before being moved to a relief role), but the results were disastrous, and he was sent to the minors. In 2013, the Red Sox released him, and he hasn’t thrown a pitch in Major League Baseball since.
After bouncing around the minor leagues, Bard retired in 2017 and was hired by the Diamondbacks as a franchise player mentor in 2018.
Bard announced his plans to make a comeback in February of 2020 and was signed to a minor-league deal by the Rockies. Now slated to pitch in the Major Leagues for the first time in seven years as a member of the Rockies’ Opening Day roster, it will be interesting to see how Bard fares after such a long layoff. If anything, it’s truly a remarkable comeback story in what will likely be the strangest season of baseball in quite some times.
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