The Wolfpacker

January 2018

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 33 of 107

34 ■ THE WOLFPACKER WHEREARETHEYNOW? and learn about it.' "'You have a chance to be really good, but you are never going to be as good as you're supposed to be if you just show up and punch the clock in, punch the clock out and go home. You got to love this.' "I can remember at the time thinking, 'Damn, the Gray Fox [Esposito] is right again,' and I didn't want the Gray Fox to be right." That moment resonated with Plesac and jumpstarted a dedication to the sport that has lasted ever since. He made it to the majors with the Brewers in 1986, pitched in three consecutive All-Star Games from 1987-89, and lasted 18 years without once going on the disabled list, which he called his best accomplishment. He retired in storybook fashion, ending his career by striking out a batter in what would be the last pitch thrown by a Phillies pitcher at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium. He pitched in 1,064 games, seventh most in MLB history, with a 3.64 earned run average and piled up 158 saves. And he left without any regrets. "I did it for 18 years, and I had as much fun as anybody who ever put on a uniform at the big league level," he said. "But I don't miss it. "I do miss the Sunday afternoon when you are standing with your back up against the wall of the Green Monster at Fenway on a beautiful day in June. The sun is out, and you are thinking this is where Carlton Fisk wrapped one around the foul pole." Plesac, a harness race horse owner, tried training for a couple of years before jump- ing into broadcasting, starting with co- hosting pre- and post-game shows for the Chicago Cubs from 2005-08. That led to his current job at MLB Network, where he has become a popular figure on the MLB Tonight show. Plesac said his job is almost as good as playing, crediting the MLB Network for being a first-class employer. "The best compliment that I get is when people say I would really love to go out and have a beer and talk baseball with you," he explained. Plesac has a loyal viewer in longtime NCSU baseball coach Elliott Avent. The two have become good friends, especially since one of Plesac's daughters moved to Raleigh. The Wolfpack legend makes it back to town every three to four months and tries to see a football or basketball game when he can. "I've given him a couple of NC State pullovers and t-shirts, and every once in a while I'll be watching the MLB Network and Dan will be sporting one of them," Avent noted. "He is such a good guy and just a class act. "He loves NC State, and he loves rock- ing the Wolfpack stuff on TV." There's a reason for that. For all of Ple- sac's exploits on the Major League dia- mond, nothing beat his time at NC State. "I tell people this all the time," Plesac said. "I wouldn't go back to high school, and I wouldn't go back and relive my 18 years in the big league. But I would take those three years in Raleigh, North Caro- lina, back tomorrow. "It was the best time of my life." ■ Plesac (center, in suit) has been a mainstay providing analysis on the MLB Network since 2009. PHOTO COURTESY MLB NETWORK

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolfpacker - January 2018