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Orel Hershiser  

Former 3-Time All-Star MLB Player & Coach; Professional Poker Player & Former ESPN Broadcaster

Orel Leonard Hershiser IV is an American former baseball pitcher who played 18 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1983 to 2000. He later became a broadcast color analyst and a professional poker player. He has excelled at every level in which he has played and has captured baseball's highest honors - World Series Champion, World Series, American and National League Champion.

Orel Hershiser, also known as “Bull Dog” - an endeared nickname given him by Dodgers manager, Tommy Lasorda - is much more than one of major league baseball’s most well-known and respected retired pitchers.  He has transcended beyond the sport to become a true American hero overcoming obstacles and persevering onward to success.  Not just success in baseball or broadcasting… but in life.  A best selling author of two books Out of the Blue (1989) and Between the Lines (2002) and popular spokesperson, Orel Hershiser embodies the American spirit.

Most well-known for his legendary 1988 season, Hershiser pitched the Dodgers to a World Series championship, broke records and was named MVP and Sportsman of the Year among numerous other awards. Hershiser  had a phenomenal year earning top accolades including MVP of both the National League Championship Series and the World Series. Scoreless innings became Hershiser’s specialty in 1988 as he broke Don Drysdale’s longstanding record with a phenomenal 59 consecutive scoreless shutout innings. His performance earned him a spot on the All-Star team and resulted in his being named National League Cy Young Award winner.

The 1990 season, however,  brought a tremendous challenge for Hershiser. Only 4 games into the season, he was put on the disabled list for the remainder of the year due to a massive shoulder injury that required major surgery and promised an uncertain future. Many did not believe he would ever return. However, with diligent rehabilitation and determination, the Bull Dog lived up to his nickname and made a phenomenal comeback by June 1991. 

In 1995, Hershiser joined the Cleveland Indians where he pitched to a 16-6 record, catapulting the Indians into the playoffs and ultimately led them to the World Series. He was named MVP of the American League Championship Series, in which he had two victories and an ERA of 1.29.

After winning a total of 29 games over the next two seasons with the Indians and another World Series appearace in 1997, he was 11-10 with the San Francisco Giants in 1998 and 13-12 with the New York Mets in 1999. Hershiser then rejoined the Dodgers for a brief stint in 2000 before retiring from America’s game.

In 2002, after serving as color analyst for ESPN, Orel signed on with the Texas Rangers as a pitching coach and Executive Director. In February 2006, Hershiser returned to ESPN as a baseball analyst for their game coverage and Baseball Tonight. 

He chose to leave ESPN and re-join the Dodgers as a television analyst for their new regional sports network SportsNet LA in 2014. Hershiser also started playing poker competitively in 2006. Playing under the PokerStars banner, Hershiser stunned the poker world by making the quarterfinals in the 2008 NBC National Heads-Up Poker Championship. Since 2017, Orel works with Joe Davis as the primary broadcast team for Dodger baseball.

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