Philip Gregory Humber (/ˈʌmbər/; born December 21, 1982) is an American professional baseball pitcher for the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). He has pitched for the New York Mets, Minnesota Twins, Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox in seven seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB). Although he debuted in the major leagues in 2006 and had worked mostly as a starter in the minor leagues, he did not become a regular MLB starter until 2011.
Humber earned three Texas Little League state championships. He subsequently attended Carthage High School in Carthage, Texas, where he led the baseball team to the state championship game in 2001, his senior season, winning state Player of the Year honors. He then attended Rice University, where he played college baseball for the Rice Owls baseball team. Humber was the winning pitcher in the clinching game of the 2003 College World Series. He has also represented the United States at the World University Baseball Championship.
The Mets selected Humber with the third overall selection in the 2004 MLB Draft. During his minor league career, he underwent ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction, before making his MLB debut with the Mets. It took him several years to regain his ability to throw with the same velocity that he had prior to the injury. After being included in a trade to the Twins for Johan Santana, Humber struggled to establish himself. He spent a year with the Royals organization and was briefly a member of the Oakland Athletics organization, before being claimed on waivers by the White Sox in 2011, getting an opportunity to pitch in the White Sox' starting rotation. On April 21, 2012, Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in MLB history, defeating the Seattle Mariners.
By Dean Hanley
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