|Born: April 29, 1974|
|April 5, 1997, for the Florida Marlins|
|Last MLB appearance|
|May 26, 1999, for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays|
|Earned run average||4.56|
|Career highlights and awards|
Anthony Scott Saunders (born April 29, 1974) is a retired American Major League baseball pitcher for three seasons between 1997 and 1999, his career ending after a bone fracture during a pitch. He was the first player selected by the-then Tampa Bay Devil Rays in the expansion draft.
Saunders joined the Marlins' opening day roster in 1997, and despite a knee injury which cost him seven weeks in the middle of the season finished with a 4–6 record in 22 starts, with his first three wins coming against the Atlanta Braves. The Marlins earned a wild card berth in the 1997 playoffs, and after being left off the Division Series roster, Saunders was placed on the LCS roster against the Braves. He started Game 3 of the series, which Liván Hernández won in relief of Saunders.
In the World Series, Saunders started Game 4 against the Cleveland Indians, but took the loss after giving up six earned runs in two innings pitched; nonetheless, he earned a World Series ring as the Marlins defeated Cleveland in seven games.
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
Saunders was one of many members of that team who left the Marlins following that season, joining the Rays for their inaugural season after being the first pick in the 1997 MLB Expansion Draft. Saunders was 9th in the American League in strikeouts, but also 1st in walks, as he struggled to a 6–15 record. Saunders' 1999 season was short-lived as he went 3–3 with a 6.43 ERA. On May 26, 1999, while pitching against the Texas Rangers, Saunders fractured his humerus bone on a 3-2 pitch to Juan Gonzalez; the sound of it breaking was heard throughout Tropicana Field. He subsequently collapsed on the mound, screaming in pain and smacking his right arm on the ground. Within moments, team trainer Jamie Reed and teammates John Flaherty and Kevin Stocker rushed to his side. Saunders had to be carted off the field, as the pain was too much for him to walk. In addition to the fracture, he also sustained torn ligaments, causing him to miss the remainder of the 1999 season. In 2000, Saunders broke his arm again in a rehab assignment, forcing him to retire at the age of 26.
Saunders won the Tony Conigliaro award in 2000.
After baseball, Saunders worked as a stockbroker. In 2005, Saunders announced a comeback, signing a minor league contract with the Baltimore Orioles, and making their spring training roster. He pitched one inning against the St. Louis Cardinals before he was reassigned to the minor leagues. He remained listed on the Bowie Baysox roster for the whole 2005 season, but never pitched in a game, although he did appear in 9 games for the Mesa Miners of the Golden Baseball League.
- Kubatko, Roch (September 1, 1997). "Saunders, long-shot Marlin, has hometown team in sights Glen Burnie left-hander still can't 'believe I'm here'". Baltimore Sun.
- "Tony Saunders Baseball Stats by Baseball Almanac". www.baseball-almanac.com. Retrieved 2019-05-19.
- "Rays' Saunders leaves hospital". CBS News. May 26, 1999.
- "Video: Tony Saunders breaks arm while throwing a pitch". YouTube. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
- "Oakland A's outfielder Stephen Piscotty wins 2018 Tony Conigliaro Award". December 14, 2018.
- Skolnick, Ethan (September 30, 2003). "1997 Marlins: Where are they now". South Florida Sun-Sentinel.