The St. Paul (MN) Saints, who almost certainly have had more of their former players reach the major leagues than any other Independent Baseball team, added another graduate Saturday. In fact, catcher Eliezer Alfonzo may have made the most dramatic debut.
Ten years of minor league duty, including a .300 season for the Saints in 2003, paid off when the 27-year-old Alfonzo blasted a two-run, sixth inning home run off Orlando (El Duque) Hernandez to power San Francisco from behind to a 5-4 lead and eventual 6-4 victory over the New York Mets in the opener of a rain-delayed Shea Stadium doubleheader. Alfonzo's homer spoiled El Duque's first game back in New York, where he had previously starred for the Yankees.
Alfonzo, who saw considerable spring training play with the Giants, had just been recalled from Class AA Connecticut. He went 1-for-4 in the game, and got into the nightcap as a defensive replacement.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
WHAT A DEBUT FOR NEWEST SAINTS GRAD
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.