Independent Baseball added its 35th former player to wear a major league uniform, thus tying what is believed to be the record for any single season. The mark was set in 2005 and tied three years later.
The record-tying event took place in Atlanta when the Braves called up outfielder Antoan Richardson, who played in the Northern League (Schaumburg, IL) in both 2009 and 2010.
What is more, the switch hitter, who does not turn 28 until next month, was called on as a pinch hitter for starting pitcher Randall Delgado in the fifth inning with the Braves trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-0 and he delivered a bloop single. Atlanta did not score until the seventh, but eventually won, 4-3.
"It's exciting to get the opportunity to get to the highest level," Richardson told MLB.com. He had already received a congratulatory text from Tampa Bay ace David Price, a college teammate at Vanderbilt. Richardson spent the bulk of the season with Double-A Mississippi (Pearl, MS) although he also was with Triple-A Gwinnett, GA briefly.
The speedster, who Braves Manager Fredi Gonzalez said would primarily be used as a pinch runner for the playoff-bound team, hit a combined .284 with 65 runs in 93 minor league games this season. He stole 17 bases in 21 attempts to elevate his career total to 252, including 20 in 27 games with Schaumburg in '09.
Atlanta purchased Richardson's contract from Schaumburg early last seasson.
With most minor league teams finishing their season this weekend and with major league rosters expanded, it is likely the record will be broken in the next few days.
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