With the World Series about to start, I always enjoy trying to identify people within the two participating organizations who have spent time in Independent Baseball. Each one can take pride from having some hand in helping their organization, and many of them probably will have World Series rings at some future date to prove their bragging rights.
The most identifiable person this time is Red Sox rightfielder J. D. Drew, who turned out to be one of the late American League Championship Series heroes. Indy fans remember J.D. for playing his first 74 professional games (1997-98) with the St. Paul (MN) Saints. He drove in a remarkable 83 runs and hit 27 home runs for St. Paul. Drew is the only one of the 50 players expected to be on the final rosters with Independent Baseball playing experience.
The Boston organization has five others I could identify with Indy ties. Regional crosschecker Mark Wasinger spent time at Corpus Christi, TX, scout John Booher was in both the Central (Jackson, MS) and Northeast Leagues (Elmira, NY), scout Dan Madsen was at San Angelo, TX, minor league manager Chad Epperson came through the Frontier League (Cook County, Crestwood, IL), and minor league pitching coach Bob Kipper was in the Frontier at Evansville, IN,
For Colorado, scout Todd Blyleven was at Sioux City, IA, roving infield instructor Rich Dauer was in the Western League, roving catching instructor Marv Foley managed Newark, NJ in the Atlantic League and minor league coach Eduardo Villacis was at Bridgeport, CT in the Atlantic League.
I would welcome readers pointing out any omissions.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
HAPPY DAYS FOR THESE 10 WHO HAVE '07 WORLD SERIES TIES AFTER THEIR INDY DAYS
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.