Though his father was a professional hockey player, Kirk McCaskill opted for a career in baseball after starring in both sports at the University of Vermont. A finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, as the top U.S. college player, McCaskill was selected by the Winnipeg Jets in the 4th round of the 1981 draft. The high scoring forward suited up with the American Hockey League’s Sherbrooke Jets for the 1983-84 campaign, before concentrating solely on a baseball career.
Drafted by the California Angels in 1982, McCaskill made his major league debut against the Toronto Blue Jays on May 1, 1985. With 12 wins and six complete games in his first season, McCaskill proved to be a bona fide big league pitcher. He would follow that up with his best season in 1986, recording 17 wins, 202 strikeouts and 3.36 ERA. More importantly, he helped lead the Angels to a berth in the American League Championship Series, where he would start two games.
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