Brien Taylor's left arm once threw baseballs 99 mph and bore the
weight of his being the top prospect in the Yankees organization.
Thirteen years after he received a then-record $1.55 million
signing bonus as the first pick in the 1991 draft, that arm
carries only his two young children. "I'm just concentrating on
being a father and raising my kids," Taylor, 32, says from his
home in Wake Forest, N.C. "Baseball's not real life. I'm in
After a couple of stellar minor league seasons, Taylor tore the
capsule and labrum in his left shoulder when he fell on it during
a fight in a North Carolina trailer park on Dec. 18, 1993. After
surgery he never regained his fastball or his control. Taylor was
released by New York in '98, then pitched briefly in the Mariners
and Indians farm systems the next two seasons.
Of that life-altering incident--which began when Taylor went
looking for Ron Wilson, a friend who had gotten into a fight with
Taylor's brother, Brenden--Taylor says, "I just leave it alone
and try to let it die. Maybe someday it will."