Bruce Hurst (born March 24, 1958 in St. George, Utah) is a former Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher who played for the Boston Red Sox (1980-88), San Diego Padres (1989-93), Colorado Rockies (1993) and Texas Rangers (1994).
Hurst and Roger Clemens will forever be remembered as one of the best one-two punches in the Red Sox history. Hurst was a specialist at changing speeds. Consistently good but never overpowering hitters, his fastball was hard enough to get in on right-handed hitters, and he mixed it with an excellent curve and a slider as well. He also had a decent forkball at times. Thanks to his great control, Hurst was able to works corners well and had a profuse knowledge of each hitter. He won 88 games for the Red Sox in a span of nine years, posting his best season in 1988 with a 18-6 record.
In 1986, despite spending six midsummer weeks on the disabled list with a pulled groin, Hurst posted a 2.99 ERA with 13 victories and helped lead the Red Sox to the 1986 World Series against the New York Mets. He won Game One 1-0 and Game Five 4-2 to gave Boston a 3-2 lead in the Series. The score in Game 6 stood at 3-3 after nine innings. The Red Sox scored in the top of the tenth on a home run by Dave Henderson, then added an insurance run. With nobody on and two outs in the bottom of the tenth, the Shea Stadium scoreboard was all set to display "Congratulations Boston Red Sox, 1986 World Champions", with Hurst being selected as the World Series MVP. Suddenly, the Mets rallied to win the Game with three runs, forcing decisive Game 7. With three days rest, Hurst had given up only three singles through six innings and left the game tied 3-3. The rest is history, with the Mets winning the World Championship.
A free agent at the end of the 1988 season, Hurst signed a 3-year contract with San Diego. On April 10, 1989, he pitched a one-hitter and collected his first MLB hit as a batter against the Braves. He went 15-11 with a career-best 2.69 ERA in that season.
On May 18, 1992, Hurst pitched a one-hit shutout over Dwight Gooden and the Mets. The only hit was a single by Chico Walker. At the end of the season, he began to feel pain in his left shoulder and underwent surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff and labrum. The rehabilitation was an arduous process, and Hurst ended up going on and off the disabled list for the entire 1993 season pitching only 13 innings both for the Padres and the Rockies, to whom he was traded at the of July. In 1994 Hurst pitched for the Texas Rangers, but when the repercussions of the surgery still lingered, he decided to retire in the middle of June.
In 15-year career, Hurst compiled a 145-113 record with 1689 strikeouts, a 3.92 ERA, 83 complete games, 23 shutouts, and 2417.1 innings in 379 games. In seven post-season games he had 3-2 with 37 strikeouts and a 2.29 ERA.
Bruce Hurst was inducted to the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame in November 2004. In 2005, he and Jim Lefebvre coached the China National Baseball Team to a bronze medal at the 23rd Asian Baseball Championships, which was the first time ever that China had defeated one of the "Big Three" Asian teams (Japan, South Korea, China Taipei).
American League All-Star (1987) Top 10 AL Cy Young Award (5th, 1988) Led AL in complete games (10, 1989) Led National League in shutouts (4, 1990)