Add Nathan Haynes to the lengthy list of players--we now show 105--who have spent time in an Independent league then played in the major leagues. And, he is batting 1.000.
Haynes is the first Indy grad to make his major league debut this season.
The 5-foot-9, left-handed Haynes was called up by the division-leading Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Monday, and promptly collected a single to center in his major league debut that night. It was a broken-bat hit in the bottom of the ninth inning of a loss to Seattle, but it did not deter the 27-year-old from the excitement of the experience.
"My heart was racing," Haynes told MLB.com. "I was just excited and glad that my dad was here to see it and my mom was watching on TV. Today has been everything I dreamed of."
Haynes had been toiling in the minor leagues ever since his hometown Oakland Athletics drafted him as a 17-year-old out of Pinole Valley High School in Pinole, CA in 1997, but he needed 31 games in the Northern League (Gary, IN) last May and June to get a renewed opportunity in affiliated baseball. He had been released by San Francisco, and no major league organization had signed him.
The interesting thing is Haynes only hit .263 with five home runs and 17 RBI for the SouthShore Railcats, and this season he was leading the Pacific Coast League with a .391 average (four homers, 32 RBI) for Salt Lake City at the time the Angels purchased his contract.
Just one more happy story courtesy of Independent Baseball.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
ANGELS' NATHAN HAYNES FIRST INDY GRAD TO DEBUT IN MAJORS THIS SEASON
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.