With the second overall pick in the June Amateur Draft, the Cleveland Indians select left-handed pitcher Greg Swindell out of the University of Texas.
The pick followed that of the Pittsburgh Pirates, who selected infielder Jeff King, the Sporting News College Player of the Year. Swindell signed on July 31st and headed to the minors, pitching for the Class-A Waterloo club. After three starts and a 2-1 record there, the 21-year-old joined the Major League club and made his debut on August 21st in a loss to the Boston Red Sox. He finished out the season in the Cleveland rotation, posting a 5-2 record with a 4.23 ERA in nine starts.
Injury limited Swindell to just 16 games in 1987 on the Indians’ ill-fated SI cover jinx season. He bounced back with a career-high 18 wins in 1988 and made the All-Star team in 1989, finishing the year with a 13-6 record. He was dealt by the team to Cincinnati following the 1991 season for pitchers Jack Armstrong and Scott Scudder and minor leaguer Joe Turek, but would return to Cleveland in 1996 after being released by the Houston Astros. He also played with the Minnesota Twins, Boston Red Sox, and Arizona Diamondbacks. His time in the desert took him to a World Series, where he made three scoreless appearances to help the D’Backs to a title over the New York Yankees in 2001.
Swindell would not appear in a minor league game again until 2002, his last MLB season, when he made one start for the Diamondbacks’ Triple-A Tucson club. He would appear in just eight more minor league games the next season, giving him just a dozen such outings in his 18-year professional career.