Rich Harden is one of two Canadian former professional baseball pitchers to be elected for induction in 2023.
Harden is from Victoria, British Columbia and was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 38th round of the 1999 MLB draft, but chose to attend college instead of signing. He was then drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 17th round of the 2000 MLB draft, and signed with the team on May 28, 2001, shortly after his college graduation. Harden made his major league debut with the Athletics on July 21, 2003 against the Kansas City Royals. He held the Royals to one run on four hits over seven innings and earned a no decision.
Below is Rich Harden’s game-used glove from his Major League career.
This Oakland Athletics cap was Harden’s from the 2008 Opening Series held in Tokyo, Japan on March 25 – 26, 2008. The Oakland Athletics faced the Boston Red Sox for a two game series at the Tokyo Dome – the first two games of the 2008 MLB season. Harden was the starting pitcher for game two, pitching six dominant innings for Oakland and striking out nine batters while allowing just one run, a solo home run in the sixth inning. The Athletics defeated the Red Sox 5-1, splitting the series.
Harden wore the below jersey in 2008, which was the Oakland Athletics’ 40th anniversary season. Harden began the 2008 season with the Athletics, going 5-1 with a 2.34 ERA in 13 starts. On June 8th, 2008, he threw an immaculate inning in the first inning of his start against the Los Angeles Angels.
One month later, Harden was traded to the Chicago Cubs in a six-player deal alongside pitcher/reliever Chad Gaudin. In exchange for the two pitchers, the Athletics received pitcher Sean Gallagher, outfielder Matt Murton, infielder Eric Patterson, and minor league player Josh Donaldson.
This Chicago Cubs jersey was worn by Rich Harden during the 2008 season and it has been autographed by Harden.
With the 2008 Cubs, Harden continued his dominant season, going 5-1 with a 1.77 ERA, allowing just 39 hits and striking out 89 batters in 71 innings over 12 starts. Harden completed the 2008 season with a combined 10-2 record and a 2.07 ERA with 181 strikeouts in 148 innings in 25 total starts. Harden returned to the Cubs in 2009, striking out 171 batters in 141 innings over 26 starts.