Calvin John Eldred (born November 24, 1967 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, raised in Urbana, Iowa) is an American former professional baseball pitcher in who played for 14 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1991 to 2005. Currently, he works for the St. Louis Cardinals as a special assistant to general manager John Mozeliak, instructing minor league players for various on-field and off-field issues.
Eldred attended the University of Iowa while playing college baseball for the Hawkeyes, and was the Milwaukee Brewers' first round selection in the 1989 amateur draft. He made his MLB debut for the Brewers in September, 1991, with whom he was a starting pitcher for nine seasons. He also played for the Chicago White Sox and the Cardinals.
Professional playing career
After attending the University of Iowa and playing college baseball for the Hawkeyes, the Milwaukee Brewers selected Eldred in the first round of the 1989 amateur draft.
Making his major league debut with the Brewers on September 24, 1991, Eldred earned the win against the New York Yankees with 5 1⁄3 innings pitched (IP). He started three games that year, winning two, and completed 16 IP. In 1992, he finished with 100 1⁄3 IP, a 1.79 earned run average (ERA) and an 11–2 win–loss record (W–L). He was the AL September Pitcher of the Month and finished fourth in the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year Award voting. The next season, Eldred led the AL in innings pitched (258) and MLB in games started (36). He also finished in the top ten in the league in wins (16), strikeouts (180), complete games (eight), hits per nine innings allowed (8.093), home runs allowed (32), hits allowed (232) and bases on balls allowed (91), each of which led the Brewers' pitching staff, except hits.
The Brewers traded Eldred with José Valentín to the Chicago White Sox for Jaime Navarro and John Snyder on January 12, 2000. Eldred pitched for the White Sox in 2000–01, but totaled just 22 starts. His record in 2000 was 10–2 and he was the AL Pitcher of the Month for June. He missed all of the 2002 season due to injury and signed as a free agent with the St. Louis Cardinals on December 18, 2002. He pitched in relief for the National League pennant-winning Cardinals in 2004, and made two appearances in the World Series. Eldred announced his retirement as a player on October 27, 2005. He was the Cardinals winner of the 2005 Darryl Kile Good Guy Award.
Eldred also joined the Big Ten Network in the spring of 2009 as a college baseball analyst. He co-hosted the network's studio coverage of the 2009 Big Ten Baseball Tournament with Dave Revsine. He is a pregame color analyst for the team's telecasts on Fox Sports Midwest. He also is a special assistant to Cardinals' general manager John Mozeliak, instructing minor league players for various on-field and off-field issues. His son C.J. is a sophomore pitcher for the Iowa Hawkeyes.