Barring a collapse by the amazing Tampa Bay Rays in the final weekend of the regular season, Independent Baseball is in position to send out joyous messages bragging about no less than 12 of the non-major-league-affiliated leagues former pitchers being in line to take part in major league baseball's postseason.
Any way it is sliced, that is a very impressive number.
The most intriguing of the dozen has to be Minnesota right-hander Randy Dobnak, who threw his first major league pitch on August 9.
Dobnak, who started his professional career in the young United Shore League only two years ago, is making news both on and off the diamond. After his best outing yet--six innings of one-hit work as the Twins clinched the American League Central title Wednesday night--the 24-year-old is being given a rare couple of days off right before the playoffs to get married. After all, the wedding date was set two years ago when the South Park, PA native had barely gone from the United Shore's Utica Unicorns and worked in six games in the lower ranks of the Twins' minor league system.
How could anyone have guessed he would have been able to finish at Division II Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, WV in the 2017 season, work six games in the United Short (Utica, MI) that same summer and zip from Class A all the way to the majors this season.
But there he was Wednesday, making the longest of his nine major league appearances--fifth start--and stifling the Detroit Tigers with a measly unearned run and six strikeouts (no walks) in the pressure of a division-clinching game. There is talk that Dobnak not only will be on the postseason roster with his 1.59 earned run average and hard sinker but he might also get a start when division play begins.
It is stories like Dobnak's that continues to give the Indy leagues quality attention.
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Thursday, September 26, 2019
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.