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Friday, January 17, 2020

Gary Scott made the great achievement, he made the majors; Played with Cubs over two seasons

As he prepared to make his major league debut in April 1991, Gary Scott expressed excitement to The Chicago Tribune.

"I look at it like today's my birthday," Scott told The Tribune. "I'm being born into Wrigley Field. At this time next year I'll be one year old."

Scott made that debut to start his third season as a pro. He saw Wrigley the next year, but those two seasons marked his only seasons in the bigs. He saw 31 games for the Cubs in his first season there, and 36 the next, marking the extent of his major league career.

Scott's career began in 1989, taken by the Cubs in the second round of the draft out of Villanova. He was signed by Cubs scout Billy Blitzer.

Scott started with the Cubs at short-season Geneva. He hit .280 over 48 games. He then moved to high-A Winston-Salem and AA Charlotte for 1990. He hit .298 between  them, with 16 home runs.

That June, as he played for Winston-Salem, talked turned to the Cubs' needs in Chicago, according to The Newport News Daily Press. The third baseman Scott saw an opening there.

"I think my situation is pretty nice in the organization," Scott told The Daily Press. "I think if I continue playing well, I'll move up."

Scott did move up and quickly. He opened 1991 in Chicago. He stayed up through mid-May. In his 31 games, he hit just .165.

Scott's luck hardly improved in his second run with the big club. He played in Chicago for three stints, in April, June and September. In his 36 games, he hit .156.

Scott moved to the Reds and Twins organizations for 1993 by way of the Marlins. He played the season at AAA. Scott played three more seasons at AAA, with the Giants, Braves and Padres. He then rounded out his career in 1997, in Mexico.

Scott then went into business. Years later, the scout that signed him, Blitzer, recalled encountering Scott at a Villanova event honoring Scott for his college career. Blizer recalled to the Society for American Baseball Research that Scott apologized for not having a better career and disappointing Blitzer.

"Never think like that," Blitzer recalled responding, according to SABR. "You made the major leagues and that's a great achievement."
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,277
Made the Majors:1,179-36.0%-X
Never Made Majors:2,098-64.0%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 486
10+ Seasons in the Minors:286

Robert Horowitz didn't want to be stuck in an office, then found athletic training

Robert Horowitz originally went to school for political science, he told a student paper years later.

But then he found a course on athletic injuries. He also then found a new direction for his career: Athletic training, he told the paper.

"I liked knowing I wouldn't be stuck in an office all day," Horowitz told The Los Angeles Pierce College Roundup in 2016 of his choice of career. "I can go outside and enjoy watching sports and get paid for it. Being indoors you don't have fun, and watching sports and what's going on was fun to me."

Horowitz' long career in athletic training has included years of work for Los Angeles Community Colleges. But it also included a brief stint in minor league baseball with the Angels.

Horowitz' career in athletic training began at Cal State Northridge, where he made the transition from political science to training.

He graduated from there in 1986 with a degree in physical education and then received his athletic training certification the next year.

By 1989, Horowitz was working in baseball with the Angels. He served as a trainer that year for the organization in the Arizona League.

Horowitz then moved to single-A Quad City for 1990. He also served as a trainer in the Midwest League All-Star game.

By 1993, he was working in the Los Angeles Community College District. He initially worked at Los Angeles City College. In 2016, he was working at Pierce. He continued in that role for Pierce in 2020.

In 2017, Horowitz spoke with KPC Radio about athletic training.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,276
Made the Majors:1,178-36.0%
Never Made Majors:2,098-64.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 486
10+ Seasons in the Minors:286

Matt Murray started over after Tommy John surgery, then made the majors over three seasons

Originally published Jan. 20, 2014
Matt Murray started his career as a second round pick of the Braves. He later had to start over after Tommy John surgery on his elbow.

But, after losing nearly two full seasons to rehabbing that elbow, Murray returned. In his third season after coming back, he was in the majors.

"This is just incredible," Murray told The South Florida Sun-Sentinel after his August 1995 big league debut. "I never could have imagined this happening a year ago. I mean, I was in A ball."

Murray debuted that August getting into four games with the Braves and later two with the Red Sox. But, in a career that would span 12 seasons, those six big league outings would be the only major league outings he would get.

Murray's pro career began in 1988, taken by the Braves in the second round of the draft, out of high school in Connecticut. He grew up in Boston.

With the Braves, Murray started at rookie Pulaski. He moved to single-A Sumter in 1989, then single-A Burlington in 1990. At Burlington, Murray went 11-7, with a 3.26 ERA.

He then made high-A Durham in 1991, and blew out his elbow. He got just two starts for Durham that year, then sat out all of 1992. He then returned to the field in 1993 with single-A Macon. He went 7-3 there, with a 1.83 ERA over 15 starts.

In 1994, he made high-A Durham then AA Greenville. He started 1995 back at Greenville, going 4-0, with a 1.53 ERA. He picked up his second win in an early-April six-inning effort.

"I was spotting my fastball tonight," Murray told The Orlando Sentinel after that win. "I was able to move it inside and outside and I threw little else."

Moved up to AAA Richmond, Murray went 10-3, with a 2.78 ERA. Then, in August, he got his call to Atlanta.

With the Braves, Murray got into four games, starting one. In 10.2 innings, he gave up eight earned. At the end August, Murray was sent in a trade to his hometown team, the Red Sox.

"We were looking for some pitching this year and for in the future," Red Sox GM Dan Duquette told The Hartford Courant of Murray. "He's a big, strong kid. He's got youth, size."

Murray got into two games, one start, for the Red Sox that September. In 3.1 innings, he gave up seven earned. They were the last outings of his major league career.

Murray played one more season in the minors, at AAA with the Phillies and Braves. He then played three more in independent ball, rounding out his professional career.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Joe Andrzejewski pitched erratically at short-season in 1991; Played four seasons, never made AA

Originally published June 23, 2017
Joe Andrzejewski assessed his performances to The Baltimore Sun in August 1991.

In a word, those performances were erratic, he told The Sun.

"Some days, I go out there and pitch great," Andrzejewski told The Sun. "Other days, I go up there and I'll constantly be behind the hitters, and they won't really hit me hard. I'll just walk a lot of people. I commit suicide out there."

Andrzejewski pitched that year, his fourth year as a pro, with short-season Erie. That season also proved to be his last. Andrzejewski made it as high as single-A.

Andrzejewski's career began in 1988, taken by the Brewers in the third round of the draft out of Chesapeake High School in Maryland.

Andrzejewski started with the Brewers at rookie Helena. He got into a single game in 1988. He then returned to Helena the next year. In 11 games, 10 starts, Andrzejewski went 3-2, with a 6.13 ERA. In July, Andrzejewski combined with two relievers to strike out 16.

He moved to single-A Beloit for 1990. He got into 24 games that year, starting 19. He went 6-9, with a 5.61 ERA.

In one game that summer with Beloit, a sharp line drive to his face led Andrzejewski to be carted off the field. He even had the imprint of stitches on his face, William Albert Allard wrote in his book "Portraits of America." Checked out at the hospital, Andrzejewski returned to the team later that night.

Andrzejewski then moved to short-season co-op Erie for 1991. He got into 16 games, starting seven. He went 1-5, with a 7.02 ERA, ending his career.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Billy White moved up to AA, then stayed there over five seasons; Made AAA, but not the bigs

Billy White hit well at high-A Winston-Salem by 1990. He picked up the game-winning hit in a contest that month and he had bigger plans ahead, he told The Newport News Daily Press.

"I hope to be in (Double-A) Charlotte next season, that's the next step," White told The Daily Press. "It's in my hands, but then again it's out of my hands."

White did make AA Charlotte the next year. But he then stayed at AA for much of the next five seasons, including the final two seasons in the Rockies system. He did make AAA in 1996, but he never made the majors.

White's career began in 1989, taken by the Cubs in the third round of the draft out of the University of Kentucky.

White started with the Cubs at short-season Geneva. He hit .323 over 68 games there and stole 16 bases. He then moved to Winston-Salem for 1990. He hit .269, with 25 stolen bases there.

He arrived at Charlotte for 1991. He hit .268 there over 123 games. He then hit .253 there in 1992 over 121 games.

White split 1993 between AA Orlando and high-A Daytona with the Cubs. He then moved to the Rockies system and AA New Haven for 1994.

In September 1994, White spoke to The Hartford Courant about his year there.

"It was like a breath of fresh air," White told The Courant. "It's not just the fans, though they're great. It's the team. I've had good times in baseball, but the guys on this team are closer than any other I've been on."

White stayed at New Haven for a second season in 1995. He then moved to AAA Colorado Springs for 1996. He hit .243 there in 103 games to end his career.

White then started his post-playing career as a minor league coach. He served as hitting coach at single-A Asheville from 1997 to 1999. He then managed a season at short-season Portland in 2000, then returned to hitting coach duties. He's last recorded as serving as a hitting coach in 2005 at high-A Sarasota.

In 2000, as he managed Portland for the Rockies, White spoke to The Denver Post and offered high praise for two prospects on his team, Garrett Atkins and Brad Hawpe. He spoke of both in comparison to Todd Helton.

"Since Helton, these two guys are as good as we have," White told The Post then. "I think Brad might even be a little better at hitting left-handed pitching than Todd was when he arrived. Atkins hits with a lot of power and he uses the whole field. He's a mental hitter."
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,275
Made the Majors:1,178-36.0%
Never Made Majors:2,097-64.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 486
10+ Seasons in the Minors:286

Tom Spencer spent a decade as a trainer in the minors; Later served as a trainer in the WNBA

Originally published Nov. 21, 2012
The team's star player went down with a knee injury, leaving practice on crutches. Watching over the injury, insuring it was cared for properly, was team trainer Tom Spencer.

"When someone goes down, there's question marks in everybody's mind - the coach's mind, the player's mind, the trainer's mind," said head coach Brian Agler told his team's site afterward. "So we went through the process of the X-Rays and the MRI and seeing the physician and everything's come back pretty clean, so it's really a day by day-type thing."

This was 2008 and Spencer had already spent more than a decade serving as an athletic trainer in minor league baseball.

By 2008, though, Spencer was in the second year of his new job - as head athletic trainer for the Seattle Storm, of the WNBA. The player he worked to patch up after that July practice was star Sheryl Swoopes.

Spencer started his career as a trainer in 1988, with the Brewers, working that summer rookie ball. He moved to the Reds system in 1989, serving as trainer for the single-A Cedar Rapids Reds, returning there for 1990.

Over the next decade, Spencer stayed with the Reds, serving as trainer as high as AA.

Spencer previously graduated from Central Washington University with a degree in individualized studies, focusing on sports medicine and adaptive physical education, according to the Storm. In 2002, he went back to school to become a physical therapist.

He also returned home to the Seattle area, working with Peak Sports and Spine Physical Therapy. In 2007, he got another hometown job, with the Storm. It's a job he still holds in 2012.

In 2010, Spencer helped keep the Storm healthy enough to win the WNBA championship, an honor that got the team, and Spencer, a trip to the White House to see President Obama.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Ronnie Rasp played three pro seasons, then crushed his finger in an off-season job accident

Originally published Nov. 9, 2019
Ronnie Rasp played three pro seasons, but he could have played more, if not for an off-season job accident, according to The Shelby County Reporter.

Rasp worked for UPS, The Reporter wrote, and an unloading accident left him with a crushed finger on his pitching hand, an injury that caused him to lose all ball control.

“I can still throw as hard as ever," Rasp told The Reporter in 2011, "I just don't know where the ball is going to wind up."

In those three seasons, Rasp played for four different clubs in the Cubs system. He topped out at high-A Winston-Salem. He didn't make it higher.

Rasp's career began in 1988, taken by the Cubs in the 32nd round out of the University of Montevallo in Alabama.

With Montevallo in 1987, Rasp took the loss as a starter in a game against Jacksonville State.

Rasp started with the Cubs at rookie Wytheville. He went 5-6, with a 4.14 ERA over 22 outings, five starts. He also saved two.

He moved to single-A Charleston for 1989. He saw 54 relief appearances there, perhaps the story behind his "Horse" nickname on his 1990 Peoria card. He picked up eight wins, 15 saves and an ERA of 2.87.

Rasp played 1990 between single-A Peoria and Winston-Salem. He saw 26 relief outings at Peoria, saved three and had a 3.77 ERA. He also saw four games at Winston-Salem, giving up five earned in 3.2 innings. That season proved his final as a pro.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,274
Made the Majors:1,178-36.0%
Never Made Majors:2,096-64.0%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 486
10+ Seasons in the Minors:286
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