The last time we saw Mark Prior, he was struggling his way to a 1-6 mark and a 7.21 ERA in nine starts with the Cubs in 2006, likely cursing Dusty Baker's name the entire time.
In just five years, Prior went from baseball's No. 1 overall pick to an 18-game winning All-Star to out of baseball. Injuries obviously played a large part in his fast fall -- his Wiki page actually has a whole section dedicated just to list his ailments ... all 11 of them. The most damaging were the five shoulder injuries he suffered in a 27-month span, including the tendinitis that ended his '06 season and two separate surgeries that halted both the '07 and '08 campaigns.
But all that hasn't deterred him, apparently, because Prior is currently at work on yet another comeback.
On Tuesday, Prior signed a contract with the Orange County Flyers of the Independent Golden Baseball League -- "OC's Greatest Show On Dirt" -- and them promptly pitched a scoreless sixth inning to help preserve the 6-0 win.
Prior, still only 29-years old, will be used as a set-up man, says manager Paul Abbott. And the former Cubs pitcher just sounds happy to still be playing baseball at all.
"I want to get back out there and get some competitive games under my belt," said Prior. "It's been a few years with a couple shoulder surgeries. I finally feel that I'm at a point now that I can go out, compete and get guys out, so that's the first step."
For Prior's sake, hopefully the fourth comeback is the charm.
Though perhaps the sponsor of his Baseball-Reference page says it best: "Somewhere in San Diego, right NOW, Mark Prior is getting fired up for his 35th comeback attempt. He'll be attempting to pitch off a mound soon!"