Charles Tadao Zink
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 190 lb.
- School Savannah College of Art and Design
- High School Oak Ridge High School (El Dorado Hills)
- Debut August 12, 2008
- Final Game August 12, 2008
- Born August 26, 1979 in Carmichael, CA, USA
Knuckleballer Charlie Zink was coached by Luis Tiant at Savannah College of Art and Design, not usually a prime spot for developing baseball players. He made his professional debut in 2002 and had significant success in the minor leagues, winning 10 or more games every year from 2003 to 2008, except for 2004 when he was only 1-10. He had the good fortune of playing in the Boston Red Sox organization, a team that was open to the possibility of a knuckleball pitcher having success in the major leagues because of the presence of Tim Wakefield on the team's roster for years. However, with Wakefield already part of the mound staff, the team also did not want a second knuckleballer with the Major League club, keeping Zink on the sidelines, no matter his success.
The dilemma ended in August of 2008, when Wakefield went on the disabled list, and Zink could not be ignored, having compiled a 13-4 record with a 2.89 ERA for the Pawtucket Red Sox at that point. He was given the ball to start the Red Sox's game of August 12 against the Texas Rangers. It turned out to be a game for the ages, as, after Zink threw a perfect first inning, the Red Sox scored 10 runs in the bottom of the first. But Zink was unable to keep the Rangers down, giving up 8 runs on 11 hits in 4⅓ innings before being chased. The Rangers eventually tied the score in a game which ended 19-17 in favor of the Red Sox, with Kevin Youkilis hitting a decisive two-run blast in the 8th. Zink was sent back to Pawtucket the next day, sporting a 16.62 ERA and did not pitch again in the majors that year. His final AAA stats were 14-6, 2.84 in 28 starts, but his path to a major league career still appeared uncertain.