Deshaies at Wrigley Field on July 6, 2013
|Born: June 23, 1960|
Massena, New York
|August 7, 1984, for the New York Yankees|
|Last MLB appearance|
|July 30, 1995, for the Philadelphia Phillies|
|Earned run average||4.14|
James Joseph Deshaies (born June 23, 1960), also known as "JD", is an American former professional baseball left-handed starting pitcher, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for 6 teams, over the course of 12 big league seasons. He is currently a color commentator for broadcasts of Chicago Cubs games.
Deshaies made his MLB debut with the New York Yankees on August 7, 1984. He set a milestone in his debut by being the 1,000th person to play an official game for the New York Yankees. Deshaies was the losing pitcher that day, after giving up four earned runs in four innings pitched in a 6-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Six days later, he lasted three innings in a no decision start against the Cleveland Indians. Those would be Deshaies' only two appearances for the New York Yankees, who traded him to the Houston Astros on September 15, 1985, for Joe Niekro.
Deshaies' first full season was with the 1986 Houston Astros. Still considered a rookie, he posted 12 wins, good for the Astros' rookie record, later broken by Roy Oswalt in 2001.
On September 23, 1986, in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Deshaies set a major-league record by striking out the first eight batters of the game. The following year, the Topps company inserted a trading card into its 1987 set honoring this accomplishment. This feat was equaled by Jacob deGrom on September 14, 2014, and Germán Márquez on September 26, 2018.
Deshaies was a mainstay on the Astros' rotation from 1986 to 1991, pitching in 25 or more starts in each of those seasons. His best season was 1989, when he posted a 15-10 record, with a 2.91 earned run average (ERA]), and 153 strikeouts. On May 2 that year, Mike Schmidt hit his 548th, and final, home run off Deshaies.
In 1992, Deshaies and the Astros parted ways. Afterward, he made year-to-year stints with the San Diego Padres, Minnesota Twins (twice), San Francisco Giants, and Philadelphia Phillies. Deshaies retired following his release by the Phillies, on July 31, 1995.
Deshaies was a commentator for Astros' TV broadcasts from 1997 to 2012, along with Bill Brown. Deshaies gained respect as an analyst and enjoyed very high popularity with Astros fans during his tenure. He is the co-host of the "J.D. and Dave's Excellent Offseason Adventure" in the offseason and occasionally serves as an analyst for Fox Major League Baseball.
In 2001, Deshaies ran a tongue-in-cheek campaign urging Baseball Writers' Association of America voters to elect him to the Hall of Fame, knowing full well he would not qualify for the honor. Deshaies' goal of receiving one vote in the Hall of Fame election was achieved when Houston Chronicle writer John Lopez voted for him.
As the 2020 season approaches, the Cubs give every indication that they are likely to offer Deshaies a contract to continue as one of their broadcasting anchors, as the team launches their new flagship station on the Marquee Network, during the forthcoming Spring Training.