Card: 2003 Donruss #290
Joseph John Valentine (born December 24, 1979 in Las Vegas, Nevada) is a retired Major League Baseball pitcher. He is a 1997 graduate of Deer Park High School in Deer Park, New York, where he led the Falcons to the State championship title game. Originally drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the 26th round of the 1999 amateur draft out of Jefferson Davis Community College, Valentine began his professional career that year.
On December 13, 2001, Valentine was drafted in the rule 5 draft by the Montreal Expos. That same day, the Detroit Tigers purchased him. On April 5, 2002, he was returned to the White Sox by the Tigers. In 2002, he was a Double-A All-Star, Baseball America 1st team Minor League All-Star, and Southern League All-Star. He spent that entire season with the Birmingham Barons, making 55 relief appearances, posting a 4-1 record with a 1.97 ERA and saving 36 games.
Joe was traded to the Cincinnati Reds and in nine games with the Louisville Bats, he went 1-0 with a 0.79 ERA, prompting his promotion to the majors. Facing the Houston Astros on August 24, 2003, Valentine appeared in his first big league game, allowing one run in one inning of work.
2004 was the first season in which Valentine had ever started a game professionally. He made 24 appearances for the Reds that year, making one start (which he lost) and posting a 2-3 record with a 4.22 ERA but had a poor year in 2005. In 16 major league appearances with the Reds, he went 0-1 with an 8.16 ERA and was granted free agency in December.
In 2006, he went to pitch in Japan with the Chunichi Dragons (he never actually pitched for them; he pitched for their farm team). They released him in June, and the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League picked him up. In 37 relief appearances with them, he went 4-2 with a 1.54 ERA, striking out 37 batters in 35 innings of work. Joe was 2-4 with a 6.70 ERA in 42 games in a three-year major league career.
Joe became an Athlete Ally Pro Ambassador to MLB saying “I have been a lifelong ambassador to the LGBT community, having been raised since birth by lesbians,” Valentine said. “The world needs more understanding and patience and less hate and ignorance, and I hope I can help with spreading the word by being an Athlete Ally.”
Joe is part of the Cincinnati Reds Player Tour – Go to the Next Stop
See all Joe’s baseball cards at TCDB
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