Clay High grad Dane Dunning perseveres, finally gets big league call up

Dane Dunning of the Chicago White Sox pitches during an exhibition game against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 22, 2020 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images) (Ron Vesely, 2020 Ron Vesely)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – After a long and sometimes painful road, former Clay High School hurler Dane Dunning is set to make his Major League debut on Wednesday night for the Chicago White Sox.

Dunning is scheduled to start against the Detroit Tigers and fellow first-time MLB starter Casey Mize at 8:10 p.m.

Dunning’s path to the bigs was challenging.

Wednesday’s appearance will be his first in a regular season game since 2018 when Dunning pitched in the minors before injuries derailed him.

After an elbow strain in June of 2018, Dunning didn’t pitch again that season in the minors. While he seemed healthy the following spring, Dunning wound up suffering an injury and wound up having Tommy John surgery in March of last year.

Dunning, a 2013 Clay High graduate, had one of the better high school pitching performances at the state level as a junior. He went 8.1 innings and struck out six in a 1-0 loss in nine innings to Ponte Vedra in the Class 5A state semifinals.

He spent three seasons at Florida and parlayed that into a first-round draft selection by the Nationals (29th overall) in 2016. He was dealt to the White Sox later that year and had been one of the club’s top prospects ever since joining the team.

Dane’s brother, Jake, was also a player who reached the bigs, logging 26 innings between 2013-14 with the Giants.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.