Thursday, October 19, 2017

Rob Callistro, His Faith - 10

The Amazon book synopsis traces Rob Callistro aspirations as a child to play in the major leagues to his time in the pros, but also the end of that career short of the majors.

That end came as Callistro's "whole identity" was wrapped up in the game, the synopsis to "The Reliever" continues. Then came his fall and rebirth.

"He seeks to deal with the disappointment and hurt through alcohol and drugs," the synopsis concludes. "But eventually he finds a greater high than he has ever known when he puts his faith and trust in Jesus Christ."

Callistro played a total of four seasons as a pro. He made it to high-A. He didn't make it to the bigs. He then set out on a path that led him to be a minister.

The subtitle of his book published in 2015 says simply that, "My journey from pitcher to preacher."

Callistro's pro career began in 1989, taken by the Mariners in the 43rd round of the draft out of Concord High School in California.

At Concord, Callistro won county honors. Nicknamed Bulldog, Callistro won all-East Bay in 1988. He also threw a no-hitter and earned team MVP.

With the Mariners, Callistro started in the rookie Arizona League. He went 5-2 there in 1989, with a 2.62 ERA. He made the league all-star team.

He moved to short-season Bellingham for 1990. He went 2-2 over 22 relief outings, with a 5.55 ERA.

Callistro played 1991 with co-op Pocatello. In nine outings, seven starts, he went 0-3 and turned in a 5.92 ERA.

Callistro didn't hit the field again until 1995 at high-A Prince William with the White Sox. He picked up his a loss in an April game. Overall, he went 1-1, with a 4.00 ERA over eight relief outings to end his career.

He then became a preacher, instructor and later an author. In 2016, he was interviewed on a YouTube episode of Outreach Connections.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,783
Made the Majors:1,060-38.1%
Never Made Majors:1,723-61.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 442
10+ Seasons in the Minors:265

Tom Bolton, Know That - 9

Originally published Nov. 8, 2013
Tom Bolton hadn't fared well in starts earlier in 1993. But, in this August start, he was an ace.

Over eight innings in this August game, Bolton gave up just five hits and a single run, according to The Associated Press. He also picked up the win.

"For the art of pitching, that was as good a game as we've had all year," Bolton's manager Sparky Anderson told The AP of Bolton's performance. "He threw his breaking ball and then he took something off it so he had two breaking balls. He threw his fastball, and then took something off that, so he had two fastballs."

Bolton was in his seventh major league season, in a career spent as both a starter and as a reliever. He went on to play in one more season. By the time his career was over, Bolton had gotten into 209 major league games, picking up 31 wins and one save.

Bolton's professional career began in 1980, taken by the Red Sox in the 20th round of the draft, out of Antioch High School in Tennessee.

With the Red Sox, Bolton began at short-season Elmira. He then first made AA in 1983 at New Britain, and AAA Pawtucket that same year.

Bolton didn't make Boston, though, until 1987, his eighth season as a pro. Bolton got into 29 games for Boston that year, posting a 4.38 ERA. He picked up his first major league win in a July contest, working in relief.

"The win hasn't really hit me yet," Bolton told The AP afterward. "The sinker was working and that's definitely my best pitch."

Bolton returned to the Red Sox for 1988, getting 28 relief appearances. For 1989, it was four outings, all starts. For the next two seasons, Bolton was a starter. In 1990, he went 10-5, with a 3.38 ERA.

Going into 1991, Bolton told The Patriot Ledger News Service he knew he still had work to do.

"I know there's room for improvement," Bolton told the news service. "The changeup will give me another pitch against right-handed batters - probably make me a little tougher on them."

Bolton stayed with the Red Sox into 1992, when he was traded to the Reds for Billy Hatcher. He moved to the Tigers for 1993, then the Orioles to finish out his big league career in 1994.

His big league career over, Bolton didn't stop pitching for four more seasons. He threw his final pitch in 1998 with hometown Nashville.

In 2011, Bolton, living in Nashville and working in real estate, looked back on his career for the Nashville Sounds Web site. What he focused on was his trip to the majors.

"Overall, in the big picture, I struggled for seven years in the minor leagues," Bolton told the site. "But I persevered and followed through and made it. That is what I am most proud. If I were doing a job interview with a company, I would want them to know that about me. That I did not give up."

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jim Magill, All Around - 9

Jim Magill entered is third professional season in 1990 and his new manager P.J. Carey expressed satisfaction with his progress, according to The Seattle Times.

Magill was "our most consistent pitcher in extended spring training," Carey told The Times. "He has made a lot of progress on his mechanics. He has close to an average fastball. He's been throwing strikes, has a good breaking ball, is working on a changeup. He's improved all around."

Magill played that year Bellingham, but he couldn't continue that improvement. He saw only a single game the next year, lost all of 1992 and returned to the field for one final season. He never made AA.

Magill's career began in 1988, signed by the Mariners as an undrafted free agent out of Tottenville High School in New York.

Magill started in the rookie Arizona League. He went 1-6 over 15 outings, nine starts. He had a 5.27 ERA. He then returned to the Arizona League for 1989, recording a 3.39 ERA over 13 starts.= and a 2-7 record.

At Bellingham in 1990, The Times highlighted Magill's height, 6 feet, 10 inches tall, as he went five innings in a June start in "showing surprising control and cool" for his size. He went 4-7 over 15 starts, with a 4.18 ERA.

Magill then moved to high-A Reno for 1991, but his season was limited to a single inning where he gave up five earned runs.

He didn't return to the field until 1993 with the Marlins at high-A High Desert. He got into 14 games in relief. He closed out a May win, but turned in a 6.65 ERA over 14 relief outings to end his career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,782
Made the Majors:1,060-38.1%
Never Made Majors:1,722-61.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 442
10+ Seasons in the Minors:265

Phil Plantier, Something Else - 8

Originally published May 11, 2012
Phil Plantier worked to make the Red Sox in spring 1991. His manager just wanted Plantier to focus on improving his game further.

"Plantier is something else," Red Sox manager Joe Morgan told The Associated Press that March. "I told him just the other day to forget about the numbers (competition) and work on getting ready for the season. He has a very aggressive swing."

Coming off a season where he hit 33 home runs at AAA Pawtucket and got 14 games with the Red Sox, Plantier didn't make the Red Sox out of spring training in 1991. But he did make it up by June and in parts of the eight seasons total.

Plantier's career began in 1987, taken by the Red Sox in the 11th round of the draft, out of Poway High School in California.

He played his first year at short-season Elmira, then moved to single-A Winter Haven in 1988. In his first two seasons, he hit six home runs total. In his third, at single-A Lynchburg, he hit 27. He then hit the 33 at Pawtucket in 1990.

In his 14 games with Boston in 1990, called up in August, Plantier got two hits in 15 at bats. When he got back to Boston in 1991, Plantier got into 53 games. He also picked up his first 11 major league home runs. One of his home runs helped Boston to an August win.

For 1992, Plantier became a regular in Boston. Getting into 108 games. But he hit just seven home runs. And his batting average was just .246.

The Red Sox then traded Plantier to the Padres. And he found his home run stroke. That first year for the Padres, Plantier hit 34, with 100 RBIs.

"Let's just say I feel really thankful I'm healthy," Plantier told The AP as he closed in on 30 home runs. "Since last year was a bust, I really had to prove myself all over again and at the same time do it to a new organization."

It was Plantier's best season. He stayed with the Padres through 1994, hitting .220 that year. For 1995, the Padres sent Plantier to the Astros in a 12-player deal. Plantier's stay there, though was brief. In July, he was traded back to the Padres.

He played in just two more seasons, 73 games with Oakland in 1996, then 52 between the Cardinals and the Padres in 1997.

Plantier has gone on to a post-playing career that's seen him manage in the minors and coach in the majors. In 2009, he was manager of the AA West Tennessee Diamond Jaxx. In 2011, he headed up the Lake Elsinore Storm.

In 2012, Plantier is hitting coach for the Padres in San Diego.

"Ultimately, we have skilled people," Plantier told reporters after being introduced as hitting coach in November 2011. "We do need to get better in a lot of areas. It's a process . . . mentally and mechanically. We have a lot of information. There is a lot of grass to hit at Petco Park. I believe in a doubles mentality."

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Doug Fitzer, That Coaching - 8

Doug Fitzer described his pitching coach Paul Lindblad to The Newport News Daily Press in 1992.

"Some guys can pitch, but they don't know how to coach it,'' Doug Fitzer told The Daily Press. "He definitely knows how to coach it."

Fitzer received that coaching in his third season as a pro. He went on to play in three more seasons, but whatever coaching he received, he never made it higher than AA.

Fitzer's career began in 1990, taken by the Mariners in the 25th round of the draft out of the University of Detroit Mercy.

He started with the Mariners at short-season Bellingham. He went 5-1, with a 2.70 ERA.

He then played 1991 at high-A San Bernardino. In 30 relief outings, he picked up three wins and one save. His season ended a little early for nerve surgery.

Fitzer then moved to high-A Peninsula. He picked up his second of six saves on the year in a June game. He gave up a home run in an August contest. He picked up three wins on the year, with a 1.35 ERA over 26 outings.

After not being recorded as playing in 1993, Fitzer returned for 1994 at high-A Riverside. In 20 relief outings, he won two and had a 2.19 ERA.

He got his only brief look at AA in 1995. He got into four games at Port City and gave up three earned in five innings of work. He last played in 1996 in independent ball. He went 6-6, with a 6.30 ERA to end his career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,781
Made the Majors:1,060-38.1%
Never Made Majors:1,721-61.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 442
10+ Seasons in the Minors:265

Angel Gonzalez, Filled Out - 7

Originally published Sept. 1, 2012
The Boston Red Sox went to Pawtucket for their annual game with the top farm club in April 1990, The Patriot Ledger News Service wrote.

But not every Boston player was playing in the exhibition. To fill out the roster, the Red Sox added a couple players from AAA, one of them being Angel Gonzalez.

While he was with Boston for that one game, and played with them in multiple spring trainings, Gonzalez would never play in Boston, or with any other major league club, during the regular season.

Gonzalez' professional career began in 1984, signed by the Red Sox as an undrafted free agent out of his native Dominican Republic.

Gonzalez started that year at short-season Elmira, hitting .287 in 63 games. He moved to single-A Winter Haven in 1985, hitting .252. His average hit .323 in 1986, a second year at Winter Haven.

In 1987, Gonzalez made AA New Britain, getting into 113 games and hitting .300. He opened the season with a two-hit performance in a New Britain win. Later in the year, Gonzalez got a 10-game look at Pawtucket, going 14 for 35.

The next spring, Gonzalez got time with the Red Sox in spring training, tying a mid-March game with a single. He then split the season between New Britain and Pawtucket, his average dropping to just .202.

Gonzalez returned to Pawtucket in 1989 and 1990. His playing time, though, was limited, with 73 games in 1989 and 66 in 1990. He had two hits in a spring 1990 game, but didn't make it to Boston.

Gonzalez moved to the Reds in 1991, getting three hits in his first spring appearance. But it was also Gonzalez' last season. He played out the year at AAA Nashville, hitting .243 and not making Cincinnati.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Dave Adam, His Spots - 6

Dave Adam pitched well enough in this April 1992 game to receive praise from his opponents, but not enough to get the win, according to The San Bernardino County Sun.

"That guy was on," Bakersfield outfielder Brock McMurray told The Sun afterward. "He had a little bit of control problems in the first two innings, then he was hitting his spots, especially the outside corner, perfectly."

Adam struggled early in the game, but settled in to go six innings in the 2-1 loss, The Sun wrote. Adam went on to play in a total of eight pro seasons. He never hit his spots enough to make the majors. He made it to AA, but no higher.

Adam's career began in 1990, taken by the Mariners in the 18th round of the draft out of Central Connecticut State University.

Adam started with the Mariners at short-season Bellingham. He went 4-4, with a 1.43 ERA over 19 outings, seven starts. He lowered his ERA to its final number with a four-hit shutout over Southern Oregon.

He then lost 1991 to shoulder surgery. He returned to the field with San Bernardino in 1992, where he went 7-12, with a 5.63 ERA. He picked up his second win in a June game, going six innings while giving up three runs.

Adam returned to high-A at Riverside for 1993, then made AA in 1994 and 1995 at Jacksonville and Port City. He went 6-10 in both seasons at AA and had a 4.34 ERA his second year.

He didn't play in 1996, but played in Mexico in 1997 and briefly stateside in 1998. He ended his career with two seasons at independent Bridgeport. He had a 4.33 ERA over 29 relief outings in 2000 to end his career.

Adam has since turned instructor and coach with Strike Three Baseball in Maine. He also spent time as manager of the Seacoast Mavericks collegiate team, named to the post in 2013.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,780
Made the Majors:1,060-38.1%
Never Made Majors:1,720-61.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 442
10+ Seasons in the Minors:265

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