When Daniel Nava joined the Boston Red Sox with the dramatic flare of a grand slam a couple of weeks back we remarked in our Independent Baseball Insider column about him being only the 12th position player in the 18 years of Independent Baseball to start his pro career in a non-affiliated league and eventually reach the major leagues. To satisfy the curiosity of the faithful Indy fans, here are the other 11 who have made this climb with their Independent team(s) and league(s)and the major league teams they later appeared with during their career:
Catcher (1)--Chris Coste, Brainerd, North Central; Brandon, Prairie; Fargo, Northern, to Philadelphia and Houston.
Infielders (7)--Mike Cervenak, Chillicothe, Frontier, to Philadelphia; Stephen Drew, Camden, Atlantic, to Arizona; Bobby Hill, Newark, Atlantic, to Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh; Kevin Millar, St. Paul, Northern, to Florida, Boston, Baltimore and Toronto; Brian Myrow, Winnipeg, Northern, to Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego; Rey Ordonez, St. Paul, to New York Mets and Tampa Bay; Jarrod Patterson, Regina, Prairie, to Kansas City.
Outfielders (3)--Justin Christian, River City, Frontier, to New York Yankees; J.D. Drew, St. Paul, to St. Louis, Atlanta, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston; Jim Rushford, Dubois City, Heartland; Schaumburg and Duluth, Northern; to Milwaukee.
Twenty-two pitchers have made this climb. If you feel we have missed any other position players we would love to hear from you.
Monday, June 28, 2010
WHO ARE THESE FORTUNATE 12 POSITION PLAYERS TO GO FROM INDY LEAGUES TO MAJORS?
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.