1975 Hermantown High School graduate and University of Minnesota all-time great Jerry Ujdur was born in Duluth on March 5, 1957.
Ujdur made the Hermantown varsity team as an eighth grader. In 1975 he met Dick Siebert halfway in Hinckley to audition for the legendary Gophers coach. He would win 27 games as a Gopher, second only to 1972 Minnetonka High School grad Steve Comer‘s 30.
Ujdur made his major league debut in Detroit on August 17, 1980 at age 23, giving up three runs on five hits and a walk over 2.1 innings in relief of Mark Fidrych in a 9-3 Rangers win. Fergie Jenkins earned the victory for Texas.
He made his first major league start three days later in Milwaukee, holding the Brewers to three runs (two earned) on eight hits, a walk, and a strikeout over six innings pitched to earn his first win. 1974 Cretin High School graduate and former Golden Gophers teammate Paul Molitor had three infield groundouts versus Ujdur.
He made 53 major league appearances (40 starts) over parts of five seasons with Detroit (1980–’83) and Cleveland (1984), going 12-16 with a 4.78 ERA and 1.953 WHIP. He best season by far was 1982, when he went 10-10 with seven complete games, a 3.69 ERA and 1.230 WHIP. 1973 Highland Park grad Jack Morris won 17 for Detroit that season, for a total of 27 wins from Minnesota natives.
Though he only pitched in 53 major league games, Ujdur had some pretty impressive numbers against several Hall of Fame hitters. Eddie Murray went 0-for-11 with two walks versus Ujdur, Carlton Fisk went 0-for-10 with a walk, Molitor went 2-for-14 with a walk, and 1969 St. Paul Central grad Dave Winfield and Rickey Henderson each went 1-for-9 with two walks.