|2000 UD Black Diamond Rookie Edition|
The 2000 Olympic games were the only time USA won the gold medal while baseball was a full fledged medal sport. Ben Sheets pitched a three hit shutout against two-time defending gold medal champ, Cuba, in the gold medal game to clinch it for Team USA. For the game, Sheets also struck out five Cuban batters while walking none. Team USA was also managed by Hall of Fame manager, Tom Lasorda.
After a stellar college career at University of Louisiana Monroe and his big win in the Olympics, Sheets was destined for stardom in the major leagues. But injuries hindered his success. Sheets pitched in ten big league seasons mostly with the Milwaukee Brewers and retired at the age of 33 after a comeback year in 2012 for the Atlanta Braves. Sheets managed to make four All-Star teams and ended with a career record of 94-96 with an ERA of 3.78 while striking out 1325 in 1596 2/3 innings pitched. His win-loss record was not indicative how well Sheets pitched at times. Sheets suffered more losses as he should because the Brewers were not very good during this period. As an example, for the 2004 season, Sheets had an ERA of 2.70 and struck 264 in 234 innings pitched. But he finished the year with a win-loss record of 12-14.