Monday, May 25, 2015

Don Vidmar, To Work - 2578

Don Vidmar's Palm Springs Angels did their part in this April 1991 game - they scored. Vidmar just went to work.

By the time this front end of the day's double header was done, Vidmar had himself a no-hitter. He struck out three and walked two, no-hitting rival Bakersfield over the seven-inning contest.

Vidmar threw that no-hitter in his third professional season. He went on to play in five. He made it to AAA, but not the majors.

Vidmar's career began in 1988, taken by the Angels in the 35th round of the draft out of Grand Canyon University.

Vidmar played his first season at short-season Bend. He got4 into 25 games, starting five. He had a 2.08 ERA. By late August, Vidmar's 2.04 ERA was the league's lowest. By the end of the season, The Bulletin had him as among the players who were capable of making the bigs.

Vidmar moved to single-A Palm Springs for 1989. He went 10-13, with a 3.39 ERA mostly as a starter.
In 1990, the starter Vidmar started at Palm Springs. He also got time at AA Midland. He went just 1-6, with a 7.51 ERA at Midland.

He played most of 1991 back at Midland, improving to 13-5 over 22 starts there. He also started the year back at Palm Springs and threw that no-hitter.

Vidmar made AAA Edmonton in 1992. In 16 outings, 12 starts, he went 0-5, with a 6.97 ERA. He played the other half of the season at AA Midland. It was his final season as a pro.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,046
Made the Majors: 906-44.3%
Never Made Majors:1,140-55.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 386
10+ Seasons in the Minors:221

Terry Abbott, Keep Going - 5

Originally published Nov. 12, 2012
The Florida Marlins top 2009 pick Chad James started slowly two years later at high-A Jupiter. James actually started off 0-11.

His pitching coach Terry Abbott had faith in the young hurler in his second pro season. The stretch, Abbott told The Palm Beach Post, was something James could learn from.

"That's part of life - adversity," told The Post in June 2011. "He's learning how to overcome, fight through it, and keep going."

Behind those observations from Abbott were more than three decades in the game himself, part of a career that saw him as a pitcher in the minors and later as a coach, scout and instructor.

Abbott's baseball career began in 1977, taken by the Braves in the 15th round of the draft out of Jacksonville State.

Abbott's playing career, though, lasted just two seasons. He played his first year at rookie Kingsport, going 7-3 in 14 outings. His second and final year came in 1978, at single-A Greenwood. He went 8-5 in 25 outings.

His playing career over, Abbott turned to coaching. He coach in high school for nine seasons, before taking pitching coach duties at single-A Augusta in 1989. By 1989, Abbott was with the Reds, at single-A Cedar Rapids.

He remained with the Reds in 1996, serving as pitching coach at rookie Princeton. In late 1999, Abbott was named Reds scouting supervisor. By 2011, he was with the Marlins, at Jupiter.

Abbott has also worked as an instructor, with Around The Horn Baseball in Florida.

In 1997, Abbott ran a youth baseball camp that included other members of the Reds organization, including Barry Larkin and Bret Boone, The Orlando Sentinel wrote. The group talked about hitting, but also about faith.

''A lot of people talk bad about major leaguers," Abbott told The Sentinel, "but they came out from the goodness of their heart. It was an honor to have them."

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Richard Parker, Big Hit - 2581

Richard Parker picked up two hits for the Bend Bucks on this August 1989 night. One of those hits proved to be the difference in the game, according to The Bend Bulletin.

Parker came up in the eighth inning with two runners on. He promptly hit the ball off the center field wall for a triple. His Bend team won the game 7 to 5, The Bulletin wrote.

Parker was in his first season as a pro that year. He got just two more. His final season included a turn on the mound. He never made AA.

Parker's career began that year in 1989, taken by the Angels in the 19th round of the draft out of Tulane University.

At Tulane, Parker knocked a single in a May 1988 game. The year before, Parker won the team's most-improved award. The next year he led the team in doubles with 10.

With the Angels, Parker started at short-season Bend. The catcher got into 36 games for the club, hitting .244. He had an RBI single in a late-August game.

He moved to high-A Palm Springs for 1990, staying at catcher. He got into 71 games and hit .176. He also tried a game on the other side of the battery. He went 2.1 innings, giving up three earned.

For 1991, he turned to the mound full time. He played between the rookie Arizona League and single-A Quad City. He got into 23 games between the two levels, starting one game. He went 2-2, with a 3.99 ERA. It was his final season as a pro.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,045
Made the Majors: 906-44.3%
Never Made Majors:1,139-55.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 386
10+ Seasons in the Minors:221

Brett Merriman, That Control - 2574

Brett Merriman came back from one near no-hitter in high school to finish the job in his next outing, his hometown Nevada Daily Mail wrote.

His coach Matt Spencer could find little difference between the two performances, he told The Daily Mail.

"It was equal as far as outings go," Merriman told The Daily Mail afterward. "He had much better control. His fast ball is live and sawing the bat off their hands, so to speak."

Merriman went on to take his control on to an eight-season pro career. In two of those seasons, Merriman used that control in the majors.

Merriman's pro career began in 1988, taken by the Indians in the ninth round of the draft out of college. He played at Grand Canyon University and Mesa Community College.

Merriman started at rookie Burlington. He got eight starts and had a 2.58 ERA. He moved to short-season Watertown and single-A Miami for 1989.

Released during spring training 1990, Merriman signed on with the Angels and played that year between high-A Palm Springs and AA Midland.

He stayed with the Angels system through 1992, making AAA Edmonton for 22 relief outings in 1992, posting a 1.42 ERA.

Merriman arrived with the Twins for 1993, taken that off-season by the Rockies in the expansion draft and then traded. He debuted in Minnesota that April.

He got into six games for the Twins that month. He then returned at the end of August and picked up his first major league win.

The win came from three innings of scoreless relief - the 20th, 21st and 22nd innings of a marathon game against his old team, the Indians.

Merriman gave up a few runs in his other outings that year, though. He went on to get 19 total appearances for the Twins that year, recording a 9.67 ERA.

Merriman got into 15 more games in 1993, with a 6.35 ERA for the Twins. That was the extent of his big league career.

He went on to play in two more minor league seasons, at AAA Salt Lake in 1994 and AAA Las Vegas for the Padres in 1995, ending his career.

Years later, Merriman watched as his son Alec followed him into baseball at Mesa Community College.

“The first things I held in my hands were a baseball signed by the Rockies and a glove," Alec Merriman told the college's Mesa Legend paper in 2012, "so it’s been my life since I was born … I have a lot of great stories and cool memories that I can look at and try to live up to. It is a lot to live up to, but it’s cool."
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,044
Made the Majors: 906-44.3%-X
Never Made Majors:1,138-55.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 386
10+ Seasons in the Minors:221

Dru Kosco, Improved Everyday - 13

Originally published Dec. 20, 2014
Dru Kosco was hitting well at single-A San Bernardino in 1988 and he started looking ahead, according to The San Bernardino Sun.

It was Kosco's third season as a pro, first in the California League.

"I feel that I'm improving everyday and learning more and more as the year goes by," Kosco told The Sun that July. "I think the reason for it is that I'm maturing as a ballplayer and hopefully that will land me a spot in the majors someday."

Kosco made AA Williamsport the next year. He even got three games at AAA Calgary. Kosco, though, never made the majors.

Kosco's career began in 1986, taken by the Mariners in the 13th round of the draft out of Ball State University and Florida State. He also came from a baseball family. His father Andy Kosco played in the majors; his brother Bryn Kosco played in the minors.

At Florida State in 1985, Kosco hit a two-run home run in a March game to help his team to a ninth-inning comeback.

With the Mariners, Kosco started at single-A Salinas. He hit .236 in 59 games. For 1987, he moved to single-A Wausau. He hit 10 home runs, but his average was just .206.

He split 1988 between Wausau and single-A San Bernardino. He hit .256 between them, with 20 home runs.

It was in 1989 that Kosco played between three different levels. At San Bernardino, he got into 50 games and hit 12 home runs. He hit two of those home runs in one game, the day after getting hit by a pitch, according to The Sun.

"I'm just trying to shake the headache now," Kosco told The Sun. "I was seeing the ball well and really didn't have any problems."

Kosco also got 56 games with AA Williamsport. He hit just .188. He spent three games up at AAA Calgary, getting four hits in 12 at bats.

He returned to Williamsport for 1990. In 96 games, he hit just .195. It was his final season as a pro.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Beban Perez, Three Hits - 2592

Abilene had a big win in June 1995 game and Beban Perez helped them get there.

The Abilene Prairie Dogs ended with a 12-6 win over rival Pueblo. Perez' contributions consisted of three hits, a run scored and two RBI, according to The Pueblo Chieftain.

That season was Perez' eighth as a pro. It was also his last. Perez made it as high as AA in a career where he spent time as both a position player and as a pitcher. He never made the majors.

Perez' career began in 1987, signed by the Yankees as a free agent out of his native Dominican Republic.

Perez started with the Yankees in the rookie Gulf Coast League playing the outfield. He got into 52 games and hit .250. He returned to the GCL for 1988. He got into just 30 games and hit .241.

Perez moved to the Angels system and single-A Quad City for 1989. He hit .287 over 93 games. He stole 14 bases and had 18 RBI.

For 1990, Perez played at high-A Palm Springs, hitting .298. He had a double in an April game. He returned there for 17 more games in 1991. He then tried his hand at pitching.

He played 1992 on the mound, splitting time between Quad City and short-season Boise. He got into 25 games in all, starting five of them. He picked up three wins and one save. His ERA came in at 5.76.

Perez returned to Palm Spring for 1993. He got into 33 outings there, with a 5.11 ERA. He also got three outings at AA Midland. He gave up eight earned in 3.2 innings there. It was his final year in affiliated ball.

After not being recorded as playing in 1994, Perez returned for 1995 with independent Abilene. He also returned to the outfield. He hit .293 in 78 games. It was his final season as a pro.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,043
Made the Majors: 905-44.3%
Never Made Majors:1,138-55.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 386
10+ Seasons in the Minors:221

Jose Garcia, Twins Tour - 78

Originally published April 26, 2010
A new team and a new position and Jose "Cheo" Garcia's prospects were looking up.

He had spent five seasons in the Twins organization, helping AA Orlando to the 1991 Southern League championship. But he'd only gotten a taste of AAA ball.

With the Red Sox organization in 1993 he'd gotten to spring training and played well enough to be assigned to AAA Pawtucket.

By August, the prospects were still there, but Garcia had been slowed by injury.

''Since he has come back from the disabled list, Cheo has done a good job for us,'' Pawtucket manager Buddy Bailey told The Orlando Sentinel, the paper checking up on its Orlando alum. ''Hopefully, he can stay healthy the rest of the way and help us get back in the pennant race.''

The Venezuelan native was originally signed by the Twins in 1988. He began his tour of the Twins system at rookie Elizabethton, hitting .259. The next year he was at Kenosha hitting .235, then it was high-A Visalia for 1990, where he hit .274.

He made AA Orlando in 1991, where he would return for 1992. He hit .282 in the Sun Rays championship year, .258 the next. In one June 1991 game, Garcia hit a bases loaded triple to help his team to a 5-1 win. He even made the AA All Star Team in 1991.

Garcia played in three games for the Twins AAA club in Portland in 1992. But it was also after that year that Garcia was given his release.

With Pawtucket in 1993, Garcia stayed healthy enough to play in 96 games, hitting .260. He didn't get called up to Boston. And he didn't get another year as a pro. His career ended after six seasons, without making the majors.
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