Former All-Star pitcher Odalis Perez dies at 44

March 11th, 2022

Odalis Perez, an All-Star left-hander who pitched for the Braves, Dodgers, Royals and Nationals from 1998-2008, died Thursday at the age of 44.

Perez was signed by the Braves out of the Dominican Republic in 1994. He made his MLB debut at the age of 20 on Sept. 1, 1998, throwing a scoreless seventh inning against the Astros at Turner Field.

Perez became the first pitcher in MLB history to record his first career win in a postseason game, getting the final two outs of the 10th inning in the Braves' 2-1, walk-off victory against the Cubs in Game 2 of the 1998 National League Division Series. He spent three seasons with Atlanta, posting a 5.38 ERA over 52 appearances (33 starts).

The Braves traded Perez to the Dodgers as part of a package in exchange for Gary Sheffield in January 2002. The ’02 campaign was Perez’s finest, with the left-hander turning in a 3.00 ERA over 222 1/3 innings and earning an All-Star selection. In '04, he posted a 3.25 ERA over 31 starts to help Los Angeles win the NL West title.

In July 2006, the Dodgers dealt Perez to the Royals, for whom he pitched to a 5.64 ERA over 12 starts down the stretch that season. He made 26 more starts for Kansas City the next year, before signing as a free agent with Washington in '08.

Perez was the Nats' starting pitcher for the first game in Nationals Park history on March 30, 2008, giving up one run on four hits over five innings against the Braves.

Perez’s final Major League appearance came on Sept. 28, 2008, against the Phillies in Philadelphia. He finished his 10-year MLB career with a 4.46 ERA over 1,335 innings.