Sunday, December 21, 2014

Troy Evers, Quality Game - 1050

Troy Evers threw a complete game and his Fort Lauderdale Yankees needed it, according to The Lakeland Ledger.

At one point in this August 1987 game, Evers set down 11 batters in a row on his way to a 7-4 win.

"Troy pitched a pretty quality game for us for the most part," Fort Lauderdale manager Buck Showalter told The Ledger. "The complete game was a real big shot in the arm. It was a very big game for us to get our pitchers healthy."

Evers pitched that game in his third professional season. He went on to play in seven seasons, but he never made the majors.

Evers' career began in 1985, taken by the Yankees in the second round of the draft out of Iowa State University. He went to Iowa State out of West High School in Appleton, Wisc.

At Appleton West, Evers struck out 14 batters in one June 1982 game and 17 batters in another, according to The Milwaukee Journal.

"I didn't have my best fastball, but my fastball was moving real well," Evers told The Journal after the 14-strikout effort. "I wasn't able to blow it by them, so I had to go to the curveball to keep them honest."

Evers started with the Yankees at short-season Oneonta and he started strong. In 14 outings, 12 starts, Evers went 10-1, with a 1.18 ERA.

Evers' 1986 season, though was brief. He's recorded as getting just a single outing at single-A Fort Lauderdale. He then returned there in 1987 and he nearly returned to form, He went 13-5, with a 3.11 ERA.

He made AA Albany-Colonie in 1988, going 9-10 in 26 starts. That June, Evers had a complete-game 2-1 win over Harrisburg.

Evers then moved to the Mariners that off-season to complete the Jay Buhner trade. He played 1989 back at single-A at San Bernardino. He went 12-9, with a 3.69 ERA.

For 1990, he returned to the Eastern League with AA Williamsport. In 28 games, he had another 3.69 ERA. It was his last year in affiliated ball.

Evers then went back to Wisconsin and became a registered nurse. In spring 1995, Evers tried a comeback as a replacement Pirate. In early March, Evers pitched two scoreless in the spring opener.

"I was very pleased because I was throwing strikes, as nervous as I was," Evers told The Sarasota Herald-Tribune after that first game back. "With all the press and the attention I didn't want to be walking the ballpark."

Evers then is recorded as playing one last season in 1996 with independent Green Bay, ending his career.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,849
Made the Majors: 860 - 46.5%
Never Made Majors: 989-53.5%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 368
10+ Seasons in the Minors:217

Ted Williams, Steal Bases - 1071

Originally published Jan. 18, 2012
Not that they could really be confused, this Ted Williams explained to The Beaver County Times in spring 1995 the differences between him and the other Ted Williams.

"I'm a different kind of Ted Williams," Williams told The Times that March, "Ted Williams was probably the greatest hitter of all time. Had the greatest vision of any hitter and his record speaks for itself. I'll never be close to being in his class as a hitter. But I do one thing he didn't, and that's steal bases."

In a career that spanned a decade, the base stealer Williams stole a total of 368 bases, including topping 70 in a season twice.

But, while the other Williams focused more on hitting than stealing, the other Williams still stole more in the majors. This Ted Williams never stole a base in the bigs.

Williams' minor league career began in 1986, taken by the Mariners in the 8th round, out of the University of Alabama.

Williams played that first year at short-season Bellingham, hitting .246 and stealing 51 bases. He stole one of those bases in an August game, knocking in one.

Williams moved to single-A Wausau in 1987 then single-A San Bernardino for 1988. He stole 74 bases at Wausau, then followed that with 71 at San Bernardino. In the California League All-Star game that year, though, Williams showed some power, hitting a three-run home run.

Williams made AA Williamsport in 1989, his stolen bases dropping to 37. He got his first look at AAA the next season, with 43 games at Calgary. He didn't get a full year at AAA until 1992, his last in the Mariners system.

After a year with the Tigers at AA and AAA, Williams moved to independent Duluth and Winnipeg for 1994.

For 1995, Williams returned for replacement ball with the Pirates, traded toward the end to the Royals.

"This could be a good opportunity for me," Williams told The Associated Press after the trade. "I appreciate the Pirates giving me a chance."

Williams' career, though, ended that year. He played one game with the Royals at AA Wichita and played out the year at independent Moose Jaw.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,848
Made the Majors: 860 - 46.5%
Never Made Majors: 988-53.5%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 368
10+ Seasons in the Minors:217

Mel Stottlemyre, Waited For - 66

Originally published Dec. 11, 2011
With 13 saves and a 1.55 ERA at AAA Omaha, Mel Stottlemyre, Jr., was a natural choice to get called up to Kansas City, when a spot opened in July 1990.

For Stottlemyre, the call couldn't come soon enough.

"I've been waiting for this a long time," Stottlemyre told The Associated Press.

Stottlemyre had waited until his sixth professional season to get that call. The call made him a major leaguer. It also made him the third major leaguer in his family, after father Mel Stottlemyre, Sr., and brother Todd Stottlemyre.

But, while he got there, the young Mel Stottlemyre couldn't match the success of his father and brother, each of whom had long playing careers in the majors. Mel Stottlemyre, Jr.'s major league career started and ended that year in 1990.

Mel Stottlemyre, Jr.'s, career began in 1985, taken by the Astros out of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He was also taken in the same January secondary draft as his brother Todd. Mel Jr. went third overall, Todd went first.

The father, then pitching coach with the Mets, compared his son's chances after that draft. Mel, Jr., being the older of the two, the father saw progressing faster.

"But Mel, being 21 and out of school, I would hope that within, say, three years, he'll be there, or on the doorstep," the father told The AP.

The younger Mel Stottlemyre started with the Astros at single-A Asheville. He went 5-4 in 13 starts, with a 2.75 ERA. He made AA for the first time in 1987, at Columbus.

Stottlemyre went 7-6 at Columbus, with a 4.29 ERA. Then, in late July, the Astros sent Stottlemyre to the Royals. Stottlemyre started 1988 back in AA, at Memphis. Stottlemyre, though, started just seven games on the season.

The next year, he started back at single-A, at Baseball City. In early June, Stottlemyre came into one game, overcoming two singles to get out of a jam, The Lakeland Ledger wrote.

"He was ready. He was just trying to get ahead" of the hitters, Baseball City manager Luis Silverio told The Ledger. "Then he settled down and started making his pitches."

Stottlemyre played the rest of the season back at Memphis. By 1990, he was at AAA Omaha. He got into 29 games in relief there, with those 13 saves and a 1.51 ERA. He also made the AAA All-Star team.

That year, Stottlemyre also got into 13 games with Kansas City, getting two starts. Overall, he posted a 4.88 ERA.

On July 29, Stottlemyre came in for a long-relief assignment, showing what he could do. He set down 14-straight batters at one point, before giving up a single, The AP wrote. He made his two starts in September. In the first one, he went seven innings, giving up just one hit and no runs. He also got a no decision.

It was Stottlemyre's final year as a player. He has since gone on to a career as a coach in the minors, and the majors. In 2009 and 2010, Stottlemyre returned to the majors, as pitching coach for the Diamondbacks. For 2011, and into 2012, Stottlemyre is serving as Arizona minor league pitching coordinator.

In April 2010, Stottlemyre worked with the Diamondbacks' Edwin Jackson, helping him become more methodical in his approach, The Arizona Republic wrote.

"That's something we talked about and worked on in his side (session) - improving his concentration and not trying to do too much too early in games," Stottlemyre told The Republic. "Basically, slow his mind and his body down and allow himself to make pitches and stay away from high pitch counts."

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Chuck Hensley, Good Move - 1055

Chuck Hensley knew he could still play going into 1985. He just needed the right agent, it seemed to convince a team of that, according to The Los Angeles Times.

"I had another agent and he couldn't get me invited to spring training," Hensley told The Times that July. "I dropped the guy and went with Kevin. He made one phone call and I was with the Giants. It was amazing."

For Hensley, it turned out to be a good move. Not only could he still pitch, but the next year he was pitching in the majors.

Hensley's career began in 1980, taken by the Tigers in the 10th round of the draft out of the University of California.

Hensley started with the Tigers at single-A Lakeland. He posted a 3.36 ERA in 28 relief outings. He was then released and picked up by the Athletics.

Hensley played 1981 between single-A Modesto and AA New Haven. He went 9-10, serving mostly as a starter. Back at New Haven in 1982, Hensley went 10-4, with a 3.91 ERA splitting time between starting and relief.

He then made AAA Tacoma for 1983, with a 5.52 ERA. He moved to the Brewers in mid-1984, playing briefly at AAA Vancouver. He was then released.

Hensley then signed on with the Giants. He played 1985 between AA Shreveport and AAA Phoenix. He had a 3.08 ERA between them.

He returned to Phoenix for 1986. He then debuted in San Francisco in May. Hensley got into 11 games in relief, giving up two earned in 7.1 innings of work. He got two stints with the team, his first the Giants saw as "fairly impressive," according to UPI.

By July, though, his major league career was done. He finished out the year at AAA. He then played four more seasons in the minors, three of them at AAA and his last at AA Williamsport in 1990 with the Mariners, ending his career.

Hensley has since gone on to a career as a scout and he's had a brief stint as an agent. He served a decade as a scout for the Mets and he was named in 2008 as a scout for the Giants. In between, he owned a sports agency.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,848
Made the Majors: 860 - 46.5%-X
Never Made Majors: 988-53.5%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 368
10+ Seasons in the Minors:217

Dru Kosco, Improved Everyday - 1068

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.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,847
Made the Majors: 859 - 46.5%
Never Made Majors: 988-53.5%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 368
10+ Seasons in the Minors:217

Scott Hemond, Catching Job - 99

Originally published May 1, 2011
Scott Hemond served as Terry Steinbach's backup in 1993 and he was fine with that. So when he had a good game in Steinbach's place, he knew where he was going next: back to the bench.

"My job is to give Steinie a rest," Hemond told The Associated Press that July after hitting his first major league home run and knocking in five. "Hitting is secondary to me. When I go to the plate, I'm not looking for any certain pitch. I just try to put the ball in play."

Hemond was in the midst of his fifth season with time in the major leagues. And, being Steinbach's back-up, he took over that August after Steinbach broke his wrist. He went on to play in 91 games that year and 91 the next, the most major league playing time he would see in his seven-season career.

Hemond's professional career began in 1986, selected by the Athletics in the first round, 12th overall, out of the University of South Florida.

Going into draft day, Hemond had been high on several lists. And Hemond shared those high hopes. Peter Gammons had him in the top three picks, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel wrote in February 1986.

"I was astonished when I read that," Hemond told The Sun-Sentinel. "It was nice to read that, but it didn't really have any effect on me. I just go out and play hard and see what happens."

Hemond played that first season at single-A Madison, hitting AA Huntsville in 1987. He stayed in Huntsville through 1989. It September 1989, Hemond made the jump to Oakland, getting into four games for the Athletics, without an at bat.

He got into seven more major league games in 1990, getting his first two major league hit. He played that year largely at AAA Tacoma.

Over the next two seasons, Hemond got into a total of 48 major league games. In late 1992, the White Sox selected him off waivers, and he played eight of his games there.

His stint there was brief enough for him not to have a nameplate on his locker, The Chicago Tribune wrote. Hemond responded by telling The Tribune it was OK, he knew where his locker was.

Returning to the Athletics for 1993, Hemond got into his 91 games. In early June, he hit a two-run double in an Oakland win.

"I don't get in there that much," Hemond told The Associated Press, "so I have to be aggressive in my mind set. Sometimes I just think too much, though, when I get up there. I don't play enough to be thinking too much."

In late July, before Steinbach's injury, Hemond got into a game and hit that first major league home run.

"I didn't know if it was out or not," Hemond told The Youngstown Vindicator. "I was just trying to hit it up the middle, but I knew I had a good swing and got the sweet part of the bat on the ball."

Hemond hit .256 in his first 91-game season, then returned for 91 more games in 1994, hitting .222. He got a final 57 games in 1995 with the Cardinals. With the Cardinals, he hit a game-deciding home run in an August game. He hit just .144 in that final stint in the majors.

One more season at AAA, then underwent shoulder surgery. He returned two years later as a player-coach with independent Amarillo, but his return didn't go as planned. He got a couple sacrifice flies in an early June game. But he hit little else, getting into only eight games, ending his career.

Hemond has since stayed in baseball, teaching it at his own baseball school, The Scott Hemond School of Baseball, in Florida's panhandle.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mark Razook, Legion Ball - 1066

Originally published Oct. 30, 2011
It wasn't so much his high school play that got Mark Razook a scholarship at Cal-State Fullerton, The Los Angeles Times wrote in 1986.

It was Razook's play in American Legion ball, The Times wrote.

"If I wasn't playing Legion ball, I wouldn't be where I'm at now," Razook told The Times. "I would've gone to a junior college and tried to get drafted out of there."

Instead, he went to Fullerton and was drafted from there, taken by the Mariners in the 16th round of the 1988 draft.

Razook's success in American Legion ball and at Fullerton, though, was short-lived. He spent only three seasons in the pros, getting to AA Williamsport, but his career ended before he could get any higher.

Razook was taken by the Mariners as his Fullerton team vied for the 1988 College World Series title. Fullerton was eliminated from contention in the second-to-last game by Stanford. In that game, Razook scored his team's first run, but struck out later to end the game.

Earlier in his college career, Razook hit two home runs in one February 1987 game, leading Fullerton to a 9-7 win over Cal. He repeated that feat that May, with two home runs against the University of the Pacific.

In March 1986, Razook recorded two hits and two RBIs in a Fullerton win. He also played a summer of 1987 in Alaska.

Days after Fullerton's loss to Stanford in June 1988, Razook signed with the Mariners.

With the Mariners, Razook started at single-A Wausau, hitting just .199 in 63 games. He hit two home runs and knocked in 22.

He returned for 22 more games at Wausau in 1989, hitting .265 in 68 at bats. Moved up to AA Williamsport for 77 games, though, Razook hit just .238.

In 1990, what would turn out to be his final year in the pros, Razook played back at Williamsport. He also platooned much of the year at short, getting into 88 games. In that time, though, he hit just .171, with two home runs, ending is career.

1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,846
Made the Majors: 859 - 46.5%
Never Made Majors: 987-53.5%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 368
10+ Seasons in the Minors:217
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