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Gerrit Alan Cole is an American professional baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball. He previously played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Houston Astros. The Pirates selected him with the first overall selection of the 2011 MLB draft, and he finished fifth in voting for the 2015 National League Cy Young Award. After spending his entire career with the Pirates, Cole signed a nine-year contract with the Yankees before the 2019 season.
Cole was born in Newport Beach, California on September 8, 1990. He grew up playing baseball with his dad and three older brothers on their home field. His dad taught him how to throw a curveball at only eight years old. As a kid, he idolized Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nolan Ryan. He attended Orange Lutheran High School where he played both varsity baseball and basketball. Cole was named high school player of the year by Baseball America in 2008 after striking out 139 batters in 86 innings pitched during his senior season. Following high school, Cole attended UCLA where he played college baseball until 2011 when he was drafted to play for the New York Yankees in the first round of that year's MLB draft. In college, Cole led his team to its first College World Series appearance since 1997.