Obscure Philadelphia Athlete of the Week: JD “The Real Deal” Durbin

JD “The Real Deal” Durbin! Oh JD, you bring a smile to my face. Perhaps the least accomplished pitcher in Philadelphia Phillies history with a nickname (albeit it self dubbed), Durbin appeared in 18 games for the Phillies in 2007, starting 10 of them and going 6-5 with a 5.15 ERA.

He was obtained by the Phillies halfway through the season from the Arizona Diamondbacks. It’s a wonder as to why the Diamondbacks let him go, as he did appear in one game for them that season, in which he pitched two-thirds of an inning and gave up 7 hits, 7 runs, all of them earned for an ERA of 94.50.

But he’s the Real Deal! According to legend, after he made his first professional start in the Minnesota Twins farm team, he came back to the dugout after the first inning and told a teammate, “That’s why they call me the real deal.”


JD “The Real Deal” Durbin, most likely pissing someone off.

If only that brashness could have translated itself into some form of success in the major leagues. After he was released by the Phillies in 2005, he never appeared in another major league game.

JD Durbin Fun Facts:

• JD once threw a baseball into the stands after a game in 2007, striking Howard Eskin in the head and knocking him unconscious for several minutes. It was the largest ovation from fans Durbin would receive all season.

• Thought professional wrestling was real until he was 22.

• Started his own car dealership, Durbin’s Dodges, “where every deal is a real deal!” Was bankrupt in six months.

• His favorite move is “Beaches.” Tells people his favorite movie is “Die Hard.”

• Once tried to break the ice with JD Salinger by mentioning they shared the same first name. Was thoroughly dismissed.

• Once tried to break Cool Hand Luke’s record of eating 50 hardboiled eggs in one hour. Passed out on the clubhouse floor after number 35. Remained face down on the rug until 2 a.m. No teammate bothered to call the paramedics.


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