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Humble Humber’s Unlikely Journey To Perfection

Philip Humber leaves the field after throwing a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Philip Humber leaves the field after throwing a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

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(WSCR) The road to perfection has been a long, grueling process for Philip Humber.

Drafted No. 3 overall by the Mets in 2004, Humber has bounced around to four different teams since that draft, spending most of his time in Triple-A. Before Saturday, the idea of throwing a perfect game was a distant one – a dream even – as Humber had only 11 wins in seven season in the big leagues.

“I spent a lot of time early in my career really trying to be the guy and trying to really be more than I could be,” Humber told The McNeil and Spiegel Show. “It took me a long time to kind of relax and be myself and enjoy what I was doing. For a long time I was kind of beating my head against a brick wall.

LISTEN: Philip Humber on The McNeil and Spiegel Show


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“When I signed as a free-agent amateur (with the Mets) out of the draft, I was given a major-league contract. It was a five-year deal, so I was getting paid through that whole time. The last couple years, I wasn’t enjoying the game of baseball at all. Really, the only thing that kept me from giving it up was that it would be stupid to leave all that money on the table when all I had to do is play. I was really discouraged. I didn’t like baseball at all. I was frustrated because I was working so hard at it and not getting any results. After that season, I was like, ‘If I’m going to play, I’m going to do it because I enjoy it.’”

For now, it appears Humber has found a home in the starting rotation for the White Sox. He’s only made two starts, but one of those starts he’ll never forget.

“A perfect game, it’s something that happens to you more than something that you actually do,” Humber said. “Yeah, I pitched a good game, but I’ve pitched good games before and they weren’t perfect. It’s something you have to take and say, ‘You know what? I’m thankful for it and whatever opportunities I have to use this for something bigger than me, that’s what I’m going to do.’”