Saturday, July 22, 2017

Terrell Smith, Another Sport - 19

The Stanhope-Elmore Mustangs remained quiet for much of this first part of this November 1987 game, that is until Mustang quarterback Terrell Smith dropped back to pass, according to The Anniston Star.

Smith connected on the third-quarter pass for a 75-yard touchdown, The Star wrote. Smith threw another three-yard pass later for a second touchdown, but it wasn't enough.

Smith went on from Stanhope-Elmore to turn pro in another sport, baseball. But his career there, for Smith, likely wasn't enough. Assigned to rookie ball, Smith's pro career lasted all of five games. He picked up a single pro hit.

Smith's career began and ended in 1990, taken by the Phillies in the 27th round of the draft out of Stanhope-Elmore in Alabama. Smith is also credited as Terry Smith.

As a senior at Stanhope, Smith won all-state honors in football as a quarterback. But it was in baseball that he signed. He signed with the Phillies shortly after being drafted.

With the Phillies at Princeton, Smith got into just those five games. In 10 at bats, 13 plate appearances, he recorded that one hit, two RBI and one stolen base. Those numbers mark the extent of his professional baseball career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,697
Made the Majors:1,031-38.2%
Never Made Majors:1,666-61.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 426
10+ Seasons in the Minors:263

Brad Hassinger, Awesome Experience - 11

Brad Hassinger looked back on his professional baseball career years later to his hometown Sunbury Daily Item.

Hassinger played five seasons as a pro, for six different minor league teams. He made AA. He didn't make the majors.

"The minors are a tough life, but a great life," Hassinger told The Daily Item. "I've done something that a lot of people will not do. I got to play winter ball in Hawaii, play in the minors for a few years. It was an awesome experience."

Hassinger took the occasion to reminisce on his induction into his local Elizabethtown College athletics hall of fame in 2009.

Hassinger's career in baseball began in 1990, signed by the Phillies as an undrafted free agent out of Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania.

At Elizabethtown, he won 21 games, struck out 217 and completed 15 contests, all among the top 10 in their categories at the time of his hall induction.

He played June 1988 in a summer league game with Quakertown. In one game, he threw a complete game and struck out nine, according to The Allentown Morning Call.

"I had close to 100 strikeouts this year, so I guess I'm a power pitcher," Hassinger told The Morning Call afterward. "But I don't try for strikeouts - I just go out there to throw strikes."

Hassinger started with the Phillies in 1990 at rookie Princeton. He got into 13 games, going 7-4, with a 2.18 ERA. That September, he pitched at Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, at a "young-timer's game."

Hassinger played 1991 at single-A Spartanburg. He went 8-8, with a 3.20 ERA. He then split 1992 between Spartanburg and high-A Clearwater.

He then started 1993 at AA Reading, but quickly moved to the Braves in a trade for former Cy Young winner Mark Davis. Hassinger played the rest of that year at AA Greenville and high-A Durham. Overall, he went 7-2, with a 2.11 ERA.

Hassinger returned to Greenville for 1994. He went 3-8 over 42 largely relief outings. In late-August, he got ejected from a game after hitting a batter post-warning. That outing, though, ended up being one of his last as his career ended at season's close.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,696
Made the Majors:1,031-38.3%
Never Made Majors:1,665-61.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 426
10+ Seasons in the Minors:263

Carlos Pulido, Got Back - 20

Originally published Oct. 18, 2014
Carlos Pulido had been to the majors before. He was just happy to return this time, he told reporters.

"I was having a great year in Triple-A," Pulido said, according to "I knew if something would happen, I'd be back."

What made Pulido's return noteworthy was exactly how long it had been since his first look at the bigs.

For Pulido, it had been nearly a decade since he last stepped foot in a big league clubhouse, just over nine years to be exact.

Pulido made his return in August 2003. He'd last been to the majors in August 1994, pitching for the Twins just before the strike. In between, he played in the minors, Japan and Mexico. Then, finally, he played again in Minnesota.

Pulido's career began in 1989, signed by the Twins as a free agent out of his native Venezuela.

Pulido started with the Twins in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He moved to single-A Kenosha in 1990, then high-A Visalia in 1991.

Pulido got his first regular time at AA in 1992 at Orlando. Used mostly as a reliever to that point, Pulido picked up a win in his first start of the year that August. He hit AAA Portland in 1993.

Then, in 1994, he made Minnesota. He stayed in the majors the entire shortened season, getting into 19 games and starting 14 of them. He went 3-7, with a 5.98 ERA.

In May 1994, Pulido picked up his first big league win by going eight innings against the Royals, according to The Associated Press.

"He was throwing the fastball in and the screwball away," Pulido's catcher that game Derek Parks told The AP afterward. "Basically it was all fastball and screwball. He was strong. He was still strong in the eighth inning "

Pulido then started working to get back. He played 1995 back at AAA for the Twins, then 1996 between AA and AAA for the Cubs.

He then went through the Expos and Mets systems before arriving in independent ball. It was in 2000 that Paulido made it to Japan.

Playing for Orix that year, Pulido got into 42 games, starting 13. He went 7-4, with a 5.26 ERA. He then returned for 11 more outings with Orix in 2001.

After as season in Mexico, Pulido returned to the Twins system for 2003. In 25 starts at Rochester that year, he went 12-5, with a 3.56 ERA.

Called up to the Twins that August, Pulido got into seven games, starting one. He gave up seven earned in 15.2 innings. He then rounded out his major league career with six more relief appearances in 2004.

He played two more seasons in Mexico, ending his playing career. He then is credited with serving as pitching coach in 2007 at short-season Spokane.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Mate Borgogno, Every Day - U1

Read the December 2014 interview: Mate Borgogno, The Rest

Originally published Jan. 25, 2013
A Southern California-native, Mate Borgogno started his collegiate career far from home, in Nebraska, with the idea being Borgogno starting, The Los Angeles Times wrote.

Borgogno played a year, and did well, but he soon returned to California and Cal State Fullerton. The reasoning was simple, Borgogno told The Times in May 1990.

"Scouts don't see you play every day in the Midwest," Borgogno told The Times, "and I'm the kind of guy you need to see every day, because I'm not a big, strong, first-round type."

The scouts did get a look at Borgogno, enough for him to get selected in the next month's draft. For Borgogno, though, those looks didn't result in a long professional career. His career lasted just two seasons, never making it above single-A.

Borgogno's pro career began that year, taken by the Giants in the 18th round of the draft out of Fullerton.

Borgogno went to Nebraska and Fullerton out of Nogales High in California. As a 17-year-old there, Borgogno earned mention among the top 25 high school players in the country by Collegiate Baseball magazine, The Times wrote.

"Mate is your typical ballplayer. His life revolves around the game," Borgogno's Nogales coach John Romano told The Times in 1987, talking up the young infielder. "And because he's so talented, he does come across as cocky, but it's not intentional. It's a little out of shyness. He's a nice person."

With the Giants, Borgogno started at short-season Everett, getting into 31 games there, hitting just .198. He also got 10 games up at single-A Clinton, getting three hits in 25 at bats.

Borgogno returned to Clinton for 1991, hitting .226 in 36 games. Those games were his last games as a pro. His pro time was also marked by misspellings of his name, spelled Matt Borgogno and Mate Borgono.

Borgogno went on to stay in baseball, becoming a coach in high school at La Habra High in California. Along the way, Borgogno's teams won four league championships. He stayed on there until 2008, leaving to spend more time with his family.

During his time as coach, it was Borgogno who was talking up his own players. One such player, Kyle Ballard, Borgogno credited with helping the team go 65-25, the team winning two of those league titles, according to The Times.

"That's just a huge turnaround," Borgogno told The Times. "I would say a large portion of it is attributable to him."

Read the December 2014 interview: Mate Borgogno, The Rest
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,695
Made the Majors:1,031-38.3%
Never Made Majors:1,664-61.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 426
10+ Seasons in the Minors:263

Tim Nedin, That Pitch - 16

Originally published Oct. 8, 2014
Tim Nedin had four pitches in his bag of tricks at Florida State. He had a fastball, slider, change up and a knucklecurve, according to The Los Angeles Times.

The knucklecurve, though, was his focus in 1989, according to The Times.

"I live and die with that pitch," Nedin told The Times that June as Nedin's team played in the College World Series. "It's one of those pitches you either have it that day or you don't."

Nedin ended up having it enough to turn pro that month, selected by the Twins in the 21st round of the draft.

But Nedin only threw those pitches well enough to get four seasons as a pro. He never made the majors.

Nedin went to Florida State after first attending the College of the Canyons in California. There, Nedin had success, but he also had a poor outing in May 1988. He gave up nine runs in four innings, according to The Times.

"I felt pretty good, but I just couldn't hit the spots," Nedin told The Times after that game. "But they hit some good pitches."

At Florida State, Nedin went five innings, giving up two hits, in a March outing. He then picked up a complete game win in an April 1989 game.

That February, Nedin went seven innings of relief giving up just one earned.

With the Twins, Nedin started at rookie Elizabethton. In 14 outings, seven starts, he went 6-2, with a 1.58 ERA. He also saved two.

He moved to single-A Kenosha for 1990 and ended up going just 3-13 in 27 outings, 22 starts. He had a 3.39 ERA. That August, though, Nedin threw a gem. He threw a seven-inning no-hitter against Burlington.

Nedin played 1991 at high-A Visalia, but he only got 12 starts. He went 1-5, with a 3.98 ERA. In 1992, he got just a single, four-inning start at high-A Fort Myers. He gave up just two hits and no runs, ending his career.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Ron Lockett, Didn't Stop - 14

Originally published Nov. 1, 2015
A minor injury delayed the start of Ron Lockett's 1993 season, but he quickly made up for lost time, according to The Reading Eagle.

In his first start of the season, Lockett slammed two home runs and knocked in five runs. The second shot was a no-doubter, The Eagle wrote. The first wasn't.

"I thought the first one was just a double or a triple," Lockett told The Eagle afterward. "I didn't stop running till I heard the people yelling and clapping. I didn't know what was going on."

Lockett may have moved into his home run trot that night after hearing the cheers, but he didn't stop running in his career for six more seasons. In all, Lockett played a decade as a pro. He made it as high as AAA, but he never got to make the majors.

Lockett's career began in 1990, taken by the Phillies in the eighth round of the draft out of Jackson State University.

Lockett started with the Phillies at rookie Princeton. The first baseman got into 63 games and hit .310. He also hit six home runs and stole 11 bases.

He moved to high-A Clearwater for 1991 and made AA Reading in 1992. He hit .266, with 10 home runs at Clearwater, then .228 at Reading.

Lockett returned to Reading for 1993. He hit .242 that year, with 11 home runs. In an April game, he knocked a game-winning, bases-loaded double against London. Not long after, Lockett picked up three hits, four RBI and a home run in a televised game against Harrisburg.

Lockett then moved up to AAA Scranton for 1994. Early on, Lockett knocked a home run and an RBI double in a game to start the year strong.

"I'm feeling a lot more comfortable at the plate this year," Lockett told The Wilkes Barre Times Leader after that April game. "Right now, I'm hitting good."

In 90 games overall there, Lockett ended up hitting .228, with five home runs. One home run came on the final home game of the season, a ninth-inning shot to tie the game. It was his final season in affiliated ball.

Lockett continued his career in 1995 in independent ball with the Albany Diamond Dogs in the Northeast League. He hit .282 over 54 games that first year at Albany.

The next year, Lockett served as team captain and hit .314, helping power his team to the league title. He went 3 for 5 in the title-clinching game, with a home run.

"I knew if I got us started, I think guys would follow behind me," Lockett told The Schenectady Daily Gazette afterward. "I feel like a hundred pounds lighter."

Lockett continued in the league over the next three seasons. Overall, Lockett played with Albany from 1995 to 1998 and then again in 1999. In between, he played with Elmira. His 1999 season marked the end of his career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,695
Made the Majors:1,031-38.3%
Never Made Majors:1,664-61.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 426
10+ Seasons in the Minors:263

Mike Lloyd, Tone Set - 10

Originally published Oct. 5, 2014
Mike Lloyd helped set the tone for the St. Leo College Lions in this February 1989 game.

In the second inning of the contest, Lloyd came up with the bases loaded. He responded by hitting a grand slam in a game that St. Leo would go on to win by a score of 11 to 4.

Lloyd went on from St. Leo to turn pro later that year. His pro career, though, ended up being brief. He played in just two seasons.

Lloyd's pro career began in June 1989, selected by the Twins in the 31st round of the draft out of St. Leo. Lloyd went to St. Leo after first attending Miami-Dade College.

At Miami-Dade, the eventual infielder also pitched. He threw three innings of relief in a March 1988 win. In another game that month, the batter Lloyd picked up four hits.

At St. Leo, Lloyd doubled his way into the school's record books. His 24 doubles in 1989 still stands in a tie for school-best.

Lloyd joined the Twins at rookie Elizabethton. In 66 games there, Lloyd hit .219, with three home runs and nine stolen bases. He played second base.

He moved to single-A Kenosha for 1990. He improved his average to .266 over 83 games. He hit a single home run, but stole 28 bases. He played at second, but got time at third and short.

Lloyd also got three relief appearances on the mound at Kenosha. In three innings, he gave up two runs, none earned. That second pro season, though, was also his last.


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