Children of the Marlins Diaspora: 17

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Dontrelle Willis, LHP

Played for Marlins: 2003-2007
Other Teams: Detroit (2007-2010), Arizona (2010), Cincinnati (2011)
Everyone knows him because: Willis retired from baseball on Monday. He lit up the majors in 2003, winning 9 of his first 10 decisions en route to a Rookie of the Year Award and World Series win with the upstart Marlins. With his high leg kick and cheery personality, Willis was an instant fan favorite. A 22-10 campaign in 2005 got him a second place finish in NL Cy Young voting. He was not very good after that, though, following up two mediocre seasons in 2006 and 2007 with little good to speak of after the Marlins traded him in a salary dump. Failed comeback bids with the Phillies in Spring Training and Orioles more recently convinced him to hang it up.
Best Marlins moment: Willis was the top highlight on Sportscenter following his eighth career start, a one-hit shutout of the New York Mets. Out-dueling Tom Glavine, Willis put everyone on notice that the Marlins were capable of big things in 2003.


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