Originally drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1994 MLB June Amateur Draft, eight years later Ricky Stone finally made his major league debut with the Houston Astros. Drafted in the fourth round by the Dodgers, Stone was signed by the Astros prior to the 2001 season. He made his major league debut on September 21, 2001. In his first three years with the Astros he posted a 122 ERA+ in 168 relief innings. He would go on to pitch for the San Diego Padres and Cincinnati Reds.
I remember liking Stone when he was pitching for the Astros and felt a little disappointed when he was claimed off waivers by the San Diego Padres in 2004. He didn't pitch all the great for the Astros in 2004, so it wasn't exactly unwarranted. He would finish his career with a 93 ERA+. Not exactly a fitting end for a guy who had been so good for the Astros to start his career.
Unfortunately, for Stone and his family the bad times didn't end with the later part of his career.
Alyson Footer recently had a heartbreaking article on Ricky Stone and his family and the tragedies they've had to deal with. After Ricky survived a malignant brain tumor, his wife, Tracey, was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. After a three year battle with cancer, she passed away earlier this year.
Read Footer's article on the Stone family and how Tracey managed to still be a positive influence for her children and other women dealing with cancer. Then go and donate to the fundraiser that the Stone's family and friends have put together for Tracey's Final Wishes. Baseball and the people that play the game make an impact on our lives on a daily basis both on and off the field. Here's your chance to return the favor.