Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ryan Richmond, First Sport - 18

Ryan Richmond caught the eye of scouts in high school while playing baseball. But he also played another sport at Bradley-Bourbonnais High - basketball.

He scored 15 points in a February 1986 Bradley-Bourbonnais loss and another 16 in a March 1987 regional win, according to newspaper accounts.

Richmond turned pro in his first sport as a pitcher directly out of Bradley-Bourbonnais. His pro baseball career lasted four seasons. He never made AA.

Richmond's baseball career began in 1987 as a 34th round selection by the Mets out of Bradley-Bourbonnais in Illinois. He was the school's fourth student ever to be selected in the draft.

He first hit the field for the Mets in 1988 at rookie Kingsport. He went 6-2 over 13 outings, 12 starts. He posted a 4.84 ERA and struck out 65.

Richmond moved to short-season Pittsfield for 1989. He went 8-4 there over 18 outings, 12 starts. He ended with a 3.62 ERA and 56 punch outs.

His final year in the Mets system came in 1990 at single-A Columbia. He had a 4.96 ERA over 22 outings 7 starts. He went 1-5, with two saves.

Richmond then pitched in eight final games in 1991 for single-A Charleston in the Padres system. He gave up 9 earned in 9.2 innings of work to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,929
Made the Majors:1,088-37.2%
Never Made Majors:1,841-62.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 450
10+ Seasons in the Minors:271

Eddie Rodriguez, Very Fortunate - 1

Originally published Sept. 19, 2017
After more than a quarter century as a coach and manager Eddie Rodriguez returned to the place where he got his minor league managerial start in 2014, according to The Quad City Times.

Then a coordinator with the Padres, Rodriguez visited and reminisced about his long career, The Times wrote.

"Baseball has given me a living and given me a lifetime of memories, helping kids work toward their dreams,’" Rodriguez told The Times. "I feel very fortunate."

Rodriguez' long coaching career has taken him through both the minors and the majors. He's served as a coach for multiple major league squads and worked with players like the Royals' Mike Moustakas.

He also played himself. He saw five seasons as an infielder and made it to AA.

Rodriguez' career began 1978, taken by the Orioles in the first round of the January draft out of Miami-Dade College.

Rodriguez started at rookie Bluefield. He then made single-A Miami in 1979 and AA Holyoke in 1981. He played one final season at AA Waterbury in 1984, ending his playing career.

Rodriguez then moved on to coaching. He served as hitting coach at Quad City in 1985, then became manager there in 1987.

In July 1989, Rodriguez spoke to The Los Angeles Times about managing young men - and keeping them in line. He did so through forceful advice, or a $5 fine.

"You should see, they get awful cranky when you tell them they're out five bucks," Rodriguez told The LA Times.

Rodriguez moved to manage AA Midland in 1990. In 1995, he served as a scout for the Dodgers. In 1996, he got his first major league coaching job, credited as third base coach for the Angels.

He served with the Blue Jays as a base coach in 1998, then returned to the minors. He managed short-season St. Catharines in 1999 and Queens in 2000.

He returned to the bigs in 2001 with the Diamondbacks as first base coach - just in time for Arizona's 2001 title. He also coached on the 2000 U.S. Olympic gold medal team. To Newsday in May 2001, Rodriguez marveled at his good fortune.

"For all I have been through, it's just astonishing," Rodriguez told Newsday. "I just hope it lasts forever. I still pinch myself on the way to the ballpark."

Rodriguez moved to the Expos in 2004 as bench coach and followed the team to Washington. He coached for the Mariners in 2008 and arrived with the Royals as third base coach in 2010. He stayed there four seasons and served as an assistant coach with the Padres in 2016.

Rodriguez worked with Moustakas on his fielding footwork in 2012. Early successes brought praise from Rodriguez, according to ESPN. Then Rodriguez stopped needing to give praise.

"I finally told him, 'I'm tired of coming over and giving you knuckles or high-fives and telling you that you made a great play,'" Rodriguez told ESPN later, "'It's what I expect of you now.'"

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tim Marting, Highest Point - 28

Tim Marting assessed the state of baseball in Oklahoma's capital in 1988 to Oklahoma Today.

"The strength of baseball in Oklahoma City is at the highest point it's ever been now," Marting told the magazine.

Marting spoke to Oklahoma Today as the spokesman for the Oklahoma City 89ers. He went on from there to help with the strength of other teams as as a general manager and in other roles.

Marting's career in baseball began at Gonzaga University. His roommate there also went on to a career in the minors, Monty Hoppel, the longtime general manager at AA Midland.

Marting spent his early years at short-season Spokane, then AAA Oklahoma City and Tucson.

He started with Oklahoma City in 1986 as an administrative assistant. He then became publicity director in 1987. He moved on to Tucson for 1989 as assistant general manager.

Marting then became full general manager at single-A Columbia in 1990 and served as vice president of the Rockford Lightning basketball team in 1991.

He later became general manager at high-A Modesto. In August 1994, he talked up Modesto baseball as the major league clubs remained on strike.

"Initially, the major league fan viewed this as just the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants being on a road trip," Marting said, according to The Santa Cruz Sentinel. "Now they're beginning to realize the Giants and A's might not be back for a long time."

Marting later joined Sports Services America in Colorado Springs, a sports management company. In 2003, he told The Greeley Tribune about the factors that allowed minor league teams to succeed.

"The success and failure of a team is based on the entertainment value it can offer the community and the ownership's involvement in its community." Marting told The Tribune.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,928
Made the Majors:1,088-37.2%
Never Made Majors:1,840-62.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 450
10+ Seasons in the Minors:271

Steve Stowell, Impressive Work - 20

Originally published Nov. 16, 2013
Steve Stowell started his college career at UCLA as a hitter. He ended it as a pitcher.

The end of his college career also saw him get drafted, as a pitcher.

In February 1987, as UCLA began its season, Stowell was projected to be the Bruins' third starter. His coach Gary Adams also told The Los Angeles Times Stowell's work impressive.

As a pro, Stowell turned that impressive college work into a total of six seasons. He ended up making AA in three of those, but he never made it higher.

Stowell's pro career began that year in 1987, taken by the Twins in the 14th round of the draft, out of UCLA.

With UCLA, the pitcher Stowell pitched six innings in an April 1986 contest to pick up a win. The Hitter Stowell hit a two-run home run in another April game
 In early April 1987, Stowell pitched himself onto a mid-season All-Tournament team and won tournament MVP.

With the Twins, Stowell played his first season between rookie Elizabethton and single-A Kenosha. He went 3-4 between them, over 12 outings, 10 starts.

He returned to Kenosha for all of 1988, turning mostly to relieving. He got into 41 games, 12 starts, with an overall ERA of 5.00. That year Stowell was also mentioned by The Chicago Tribune in a minor league pranks story, with Stowell and two other Kenosha pitchers playing good-natured pranks on their host family.

For 1989, it was single-A Visalia. In 58 relief appearances, Stowell had an ERA of 3.84. He also picked up six saves.

Stowell debuted at AA Orlando for 1990, playing that year and the next there. In July 1990, Stowell struck out Columbus' Luis Gonzalez to end a game. That August, Stowell picked up a relief win, getting two eighth-inning outs. In 1991, he also contributed to an Orlando stretch drive.

In his first season at Orlando, Stowell posted a 4.39 ERA. In his second, he bettered that to a 2.70 mark. But that second year at Orlando was his last with the Twins. He played one more year in the White Sox system, with 21 outings at AA Birmingham, ending his career.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Pat Howell, Like That - 9

Pat Howell hit an early single and stole a base for the Mets in this July 1992 game, but a defensive miscue became the anti-highlight of the day, according to The New York Times.

Howell dove for a ball in the outfield, but it got under his glove and allowed a run to score, The Times wrote.

"I thought I had a shot at it," Howell told The Times afterward. "It all happened just like that."

Howell made the majors for the first time that July. He got into 31 games by the end of the year and, like that, his major league career was finished. He played that single season in the bigs.

Howell continued on in the minors and independent ball for another decade. He didn't play his final pro game until 2003.

Howell's career began in 1987, taken by the Mets in the ninth round of the draft out of Vigor High School in Alabama.

Howell started with the Mets at rookie Kingsport. He hit .217 in 34 games. He returned there for 1988 and hit .267. He also stole 27 bases.

He moved to short-season Pittsfield for 1989. He stole 45 bases in 56 games. He stole another 79 in 1990 at single-A Columbia, while hitting .264.

Howell made high-A St. Lucie and AA Williamsport for 1991, then started 1992 at AAA Tidewater. That July, he got his shot in Queens.

Howell picked up 14 hits in 75 at bats for the Mets, a .187 average. He stole four bases.

He then returned to the minors. He played 1993 at AAA Portland with the Twins, then 1994 back wit the Mets at AAA Tidewater. He played in Mexico three seasons, then Tiawan in one.

Howell started his run in independent ball in 1999 at Duluth-Superior. He played his final five seasons at independent Nashua in the Atlantic League. In 2001, Howell played through a broken toe.

"It's sore," Howell told The Nashua Telegraph. "But I'm fine. The doctor said there was nothing else they could do, and he gave me the OK to play."
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,927
Made the Majors:1,088-37.2%-X
Never Made Majors:1,839-62.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 450
10+ Seasons in the Minors:271

Doug Simons, As Excited - 19

Originally published April 23, 2011
Doug Simons was never an emotional player. So, in April 1991, after getting his first major league win, the rookie looked as if he didn't realize he'd reached that milestone, according to the Thomson News Service.

"I knew," Simons confirmed to the news service after the win. "If you know me, this is about as excited as I get. I'm throwing a party in my mind."

For Simons, however, the such parties were already half over. That win in April, and one more that June, amounted to the only two wins of Simons' major league career.

Simons pitched in 42 major league games for the Mets that year, mostly as a reliever. He got into seven more the next, with the Expos, and his big league career was done.

Simons' professional career started in 1988, selected by the Twins in the ninth round out of Pepperdine. He started that year at single-A Visalia, going 6-5, with a 3.94 ERA.

He split 1989 between Visalia and AA Orlando, going 13-5 between them, with a 2.63 ERA.

At Orlando, Simons discussed a possible disadvantage for him on the mound, his size. Simons was 5 feet, 11 inches and 160 pounds, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

''I'm not concerned with that the size issue," Simons told The Sentinel. "If I pitch my game and keep us close, who's going to care how big I am."

Simons returned to Orlando for 1990, going 15-12, with a 2.54 ERA. He won his 13th in early August, a 7-5 win over Huntsville. ''It was just one of those games where I didn't pitch as well as I would have liked, but my teammates got me some runs to work with early,'' Simons told The Sentinel of that 13th victory.

Taken by the Mets in the Rule 5 draft, Simons spent all of 1991 with the big club. The starter, however, moved to relief. He got into 42 games, only starting one.

In April 1992, the Mets traded Simons to the Expos. He got into seven games for Montreal that year, amounting to 5.1 innings. He gave up 14 earned runs. Eight of those runs came in three April outings, ones that amounted to a third of an inning. The rest came in September.

In August, Simons told The Los Angeles Times, he hoped to get back to the majors, and get back to starting. But maybe not with the Expos.

"I know I'm capable of winning up there, but I think I need to be a starter," Simons told The Times. "I haven't pitched in the big leagues when I really felt like myself. When you pitch a lot, you get everything going."

After 1992, Simons never got back to the majors. He played through 1996, with the Expos, Royals and Astros organizations, ending his playing career.

Simons went on to be a coach in the Mets organization, and a scout with the Rangers. In 2005, Simons became head baseball coach at Covenant College in Georgia, helping revive a dormant program. He remains Covenant head coach for 2011.

"I am excited and honored to be the head baseball coach at Covenant College," Simons told The Chattanooga Chattanoogan after his selection. "It will be a challenge to start a program from scratch, but it will also be very rewarding, and not to mention fun."

Monday, April 16, 2018

Gary Resetar, Straight Forward - 18

Originally published Nov. 7, 2013
After five seasons in the pros, Gary Resetar came to the realization that his playing career was over, he told The Portsmouth Daily Times.

What he turned his sights to was managing, taking over the independent Portsmouth Explorers for 1994.

"What I hope to put on the field is a very fundamentally sound team," Resetar told The Daly Times that April. "I'm not looking to do anything flashy. I'm not going to have all kinds of trick plays. It's going to be straight forward baseball."

While Resetar started his managerial career that year, it also ended quickly. After one more shot at playing the next season, Resetar's career in baseball was done.

Resetar's career began in 1988, taken by the Twins in the 17th round, out of Rutgers University.

At Rutgers, Resetar amassed a total of 141 RBIs over his three years at the school, still tied for seventh all-time in school history. He got one of those RBI in a May 1988 contest.

With the Twins, the catcher Resetar started at single-A Kenosha. He hit .276 over 40 games there. He then split 1989 between Kenosha and single-A Visalia. Between the two, his average stayed steady at .286, hitting two home runs and knocking in 45.

Resetar made the move up for 1990 to AA Orlando. With Orlando, Resetar hit .278 over 95 games. He also hit four home runs and knocked in 44. In one August game, he went 4 for 4, only missing a triple for the cycle, according to The Orlando Sentinel.

That season in Orlando was also his last in the Twins organization. Resetar returned for 1991 with the Indians, playing 59 games at AA Canton-Akron. He hit .227.

After not being recorded as playing in 1992, Resetar played 69 games in 1993 with independent Duluth, then signed on to manage Portsmouth for 1994, after taking a shot with the Rockies that spring. His stint there didn't last through July.

Resetar is last recorded as playing in 1995, with two games at single-A Asheville.

Resetar has since moved into the business world. In 2012, he was a project manager with a construction company called Flintco, according to Baseball Cards Come to Life!.

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