THE ORIGNIAL FOUR ACES
Cliff Lee has yet to officially sign with the Philadelphia Phillies but already the “Four Aces” posters are being compiled. With a rotation of Roy Halladay, Lee, Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels, many are touting Philly as having the best group of starting pitchers ever assembled.
However, the term “Four Aces” wasn’t coined for this particular group of pitchers. That distinction goes to the four first round picks of the Oakland A’s in the 1990 draft. Those four long-forgotten pitchers included Todd Van Poppel, Kirk Dressendorfer, Dave Zancanaro and Don Peters.
At the time, Oakland’s “Four Aces” were hailed as the greatest haul of pitchers in the history of the Major League Baseball Draft. Yeah,…not so much. Van Poppel, a career underachiever, pitched in 11 Major League seasons, winning a total of 40 games (18 of them with Oakland.) Dressendorfer won three career games. Zancanaro and Peters never threw a pitch in the big leagues.