Anton French had to keep his suitcase handy during his 15-year playing career in that his resume runs all of 25 lines, and he never spent more than two years wearing the same team's uniform. He still cannot unpack for very long in that he just signed on to become Philadelphia's minor league bunting and baserunning instructor.
Only listed at 32 years of age, the 5-foot-11 product of Chicago certainly seems suited for that job. He has 476 stolen bases to his credit, but Anton may well have decided it was time to use his talents other than as a player since he never made the major leagues and found himself wearing four different sets of flannels in '07. He played 36 games in Winnipeg (Northern League) and 37 split somewhat equally among Somerset, NJ (Atlantic League), North Shore (Lynn, MA., Can-Am League) and Tijuana in the Triple-A Mexican League.
French was part of five Independent leagues in all, including the Northeast League (Massachusetts, Quebec and Allentown, PA), where he was one of that circuit's most exciting players in 1999 and 2000. His high-water mark in steals (61) came in 2002 when he was in the Western League (48 for Sonoma County, Rohnert Park, CA) and 13 at Trenton, NJ, then a Boston farm club.
Other Indy personnel hired recently by major league organizations include Andy Haines, who has gone from being the winning manager in the Frontier League this summer (Windy City, Crestwood, IL) to a Gulf Coast League coach for Florida, and Chris Hook, who has moved from being pitching coach at Florence, KY in the Frontier League to a minor league coaching position for Milwaukee. Carlos Pulido, who once pitched for Somerset and in the majors for Minnesota, has become a minor league pitching coach for Texas.
Friday, December 14, 2007
ANTON FRENCH SHIFTS HIS BASERUNNING KNOWLEDGE FROM PLAYING TO TEACHING FOR PHILLIES
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.