Early on, O’Bannon was befriended by a soft-spoken Findlay salesman named Eric Ludwick, who could understand his pain like few others. Ludwick, who had been at Findlay for two years when O’Bannon showed up, was a former UNLV pitcher who spent parts of four seasons in the major leagues. Like O’Bannon, he entered pro ball as a phenom — he was a second-round draft pick in 1993 and was once traded for Mark McGwire — and like O’Bannon, he had been forced to go overseas, in his case to Japan, to make a living after flaming out in the United States.
Don’t remember Ludwick? He was one of many players to cycle through the organization in the post 1997 World Series fire sale (he was acquired in exchange for Kurt Abbott). His brother Ryan Ludwick has turned out to be a good ball player.
You can read more about him in our 1998 posts here.