You probably do not remember him. His stint with the Houston Astros was short and only remarkable for how bad it turned out. But few players can claim to be as pure Houston as former Astros pitcher Jeff McCurry.
Like most Houstonians, he was not born in the city but he got here as fast as he could. His father was a Captain in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Japan when Jeff was born. Before his first birthday, his father moved their family to Houston. He grew up playing in the Westbury Little League where he first caught the attention of local high schools.
Standing 6’6”, it was a no-brainer that St. Thomas High School was going to give the freshman fire-baller a chance. St. Thomas High School has long been a baseball juggernaut in Houston. It is such a Houston institution that it was briefly coached by Craig Biggio. Also skilled at basketball, McCurry had to make a choice between baseball and basketball. He eventually accepted a scholarship with TCU but did not thrive in Fort Worth. He quickly transferred back to a Houston university and found himself in the baseball factory at San Jacinto College, where he appeared in two Junior College World Series championship games.
Jeff McCurry was Houston to his core.
His career in MLB has few high points. The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted him for his fastball. A career middle reliever, he appeared in 111 games for the Pirates, Rockies, Tigers, and finally the Astros in 1999. He was back home. He had played at every level of baseball that Houston had to offer. From Little League to Major League Baseball.
Yes, his ERA was 15.75 with the Astros. It is also true that he only managed to pitch one game with the Astros in which he did not give up at least one run. But Jeff McCurry is Houston and we should all cheer that.