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Friday, January 28, 2022

Eric Boddie worked to show he could play; Saw three pro seasons, made high-A

The Dodgers selected Eric Boddie late in the 1988 draft, later than he'd expected, The Great Falls Tribune wrote

Boddie, however, tried not to let that impact him, he told The Tribune that July.

"Maybe it was a fluke, but to me the round doesn't really matter," Boddie told The Tribune. I can't take it personally. As long as you get a shot. I'm getting that here and I'm going to show people that I can play."

Boddie went on to play for the Dodgers at high-A Vero Beach two seasons later. He didn't make it higher

Boddie's career began that year in 1988, taken by the Dodgers in the 61st round of the draft out of Creighton University.

Boddie started with the Dodgers at rookie Great Falls. He saw 51 games and hit .333, with four home runs. 

He then played 1989 at single-A Bakersfield and at short-season Salem. He saw 81 games at Bakersfield and hit .186. That June, Boddie worked with Dodgers coach and former major leaguer Reggie Smith to try and get out of a slump, The Los Angeles Times wrote in a feature on Smith.

"Reggie relates well to us," Boddie told The Times. "Most of us grew up watching him play. Talking to him is like talking to your older brother."

Boddie moved to high-A Vero Beach for 1990. He got into 80 games and hit .236. That season marked his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,834
Made the Majors:1,288-33.6%
Never Made Majors:2,546-66.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:322

Ahmed Rodriguez hailed from same hometown as Clemente; Saw four pro seasons, made single-A

When Ahmed Rodriguez signed as a pro, he likely hoped to emulate another baseball player who hailed from his hometown of Carolina, P.R., Roberto Clemente.

Rodriguez is credited as both living in and being born in Carolina, just east of Puerto Rico's capital city of San Juan.

But, while Rodriguez followed Puerto Rico's most famous player to the pros. Rodriguez could follow no further. He played four seasons, never making the majors.

Rodriguez' career began in late-1988, signed by the Cardinals as a free agent out of his native Puerto Rico.

Rodriguez started with the Cardinals at rookie Johnson City and single-A Savannah. He played mostly at Johnson City, hit .162 between the two spots.

He played 1990 at short-season Hamilton. He hit .216, over 56 games. He then moved to single-A Springfield for 1991. He got into 57 games that summer and hit .231.

Rodriguez' final pro time came in 1992, back at Springfield. He got into seven games and didn't get a hit, ending his career.

1990 Vero Beach Dodgers

Features on each member of the 1990 Vero Beach Dodgers, high-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers, as included in that year's team set. 

Vero Beach Dodgers (1 - In Progress)

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

1990 Sarasota White Sox research, high-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox

Features on each member of the 1990 Sarasota White Sox, high-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox, as included in that year's team set. 

Sarasota White Sox (31)

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Jose Ventura started shutout timidly, then got aggressive; Saw six pro seasons, made AA

South Bend manager Rick Patterson's young hurler Jose Ventura turned in a gem this night in July 1989 as he threw a two-hit shutout, The South Bend Tribune wrote.

His manager Rick Patterson explained to The Tribune how Ventura did it, after a slow start.

"Ventura was timid early," Patterson told The Tribune. "He was feeling his way. He didn't turn it loose until he got a couple runs and got some confidence, then he got a little more aggressive."

Ventura picked up nine other starts for South Bend that year, to go with 19 relief appearances. He went on to make AA Birmingham two seasons later. But, in a career that spanned six campaigns, he didn't make it higher.

Ventura's career began in 1988, signed by the White Sox out of his native Dominican Republic.

Ventura started with the White Sox in the rookie Gulf Coast League. he went 3-3, with a 2.62 ERA over 12 starts.

He then moved to South Bend for 1989 and turned in a 1.57 mark over those 29 outings. He also threw a second shutout.

Ventura played 1990 mostly at high-A Sarasota. He went 12-8, with a 3.39 ERA. He also got one outing at AA Birmingham.

He played all of 1991 at Birmingham, then started 1992 there. He finished the 1992 campaign with the Royals at AA Memphis. He returned to Memphis for 1993. He went 2-5, with a 3.94 ERA over 20 outings, 12 starts, to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,833
Made the Majors:1,288-33.6%
Never Made Majors:2,545-66.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:322

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Ed Smith got a fresh start in Brewers system; Saw nine seasons, briefly made AAA

The White Sox imposed a hitting style on their players, but Ed Smith felt it wasn't for him, The South Bend Tribune wrote in 1991.

After a trade to the Brewers, Smith recalled to The Tribune how he felt like an outcast when he chose not to hit the way the team wanted him to.

"Now, I've got a fresh start," Smith told The Tribune after the trade. "I'm swinging the bat the way I was a couple years ago."

Smith spoke to The Tribune in his fifth season as a pro. He went on to see time in four more. He briefly made AAA, but he didn't make the majors. 

Smith's career began in 1987, taken by White Sox in the seventh round of the draft out of Pemberton Township High School in New Jersey.

Smith started with the White Sox in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .237 over 32 gamers. He then arrived at South Bend for 1988 and stayed there for 1989. He hit .232 his first year there and .246 his second.

In an August 1988 contest, the third baseman robbed a hitter of extra bases and runs in the 11th inning of a contest with a "sterling play," The Tribune wrote. Smith pointed to his manager, Steve Dillard.

"A lot of time I look to see what Coach Dillard wants me to do, as far as how to play the line," Smith told The Tribune. "I'm still young and inexperienced."

Smith moved to high-A Sarasota and AA Birmingham for 1990. He hit .247 over 72 games at Birmingham. He then started 1991 back at Sarasota, before the trade to the Brewers. He finished out the year at single-A Beloit and hit .262 in 61 games.

Smith started 1992 at high-A Stockton. He hit .262 over 99 games. He also saw 22 games at AA El Paso. He got off to a hot start there, The El Paso Times wrote.

"Right now, it's one of those things where I'm hot," Smith told The Times after hitting two home runs and knocking in 10 over his first seven games. "The other pitchers don't know me yet. It's hard to see a guy for the first time."

Smith played 1993 entirely at El Paso and hit .294. He moved to the Cubs system and AA Orlando for 1994, then the Indians for 1995. He played 1995 largely with AA Canton-Akron, but also saw 13 games at AAA Buffalo. That season in the Indians system proved his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,832
Made the Majors:1,288-33.6%
Never Made Majors:2,544-66.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:322

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Daniel Flath worked as a batboy in Sarasota; Later appears to have gone into real estate, coaching his kids

Daniel Flath took to the field with the Sarasota White Sox as a batboy in 1990

He then continued with the club in that role two seasons later, in 1992. He's right there in the front row of the team photo with fellow batboys in both years' shots, as well as making the 1990 Star batboy card.

Further direct information on Flath's time with the team could not be found, either during or after his stint with the club.

But a Sarasota-native Daniel Flath appears to have gone on to a career in real estate and (like his fellow batboy Scott Serbin) in music.

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune later identified Daniel Flath in 2006 as the bassist with a band called Strength Thru Discipline and then, in 2008, as the bassist for the Sarasota-area band Nous Rapport.

That Daniel Flath is also listed in 2022 as a real estate agent in Sarasota. The bio on his website indicates he graduated from the University of South Florida, worked in different jobs before becoming a realtor. HE earned his real estate license in 2003. 

While the bio does not connect him to the Sarasota White Sox, it does indicate he enjoys coaching his children in sports and playing guitar in local bands.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,831
Made the Majors:1,288-33.6%
Never Made Majors:2,543-66.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:322