Saturday, November 23, 2013

Corey Paul, Tried Again - 2733

Corey Paul played in three professional seasons, never making it above high-A. Then he took some time off - four seasons off.

"Then they started up the (independent) Western League in 1995, and I told myself I had to try pro baseball again," Paul told The Japan Times years later. "I had always played ball as a kid; I was in three leagues and later played at Belmont High School in Los Angeles, so I couldn’t give it up."

While he didn't return to the pros and make the majors, Paul did return to the pros and get to the game's highest level overseas. Paul spoke to The Japan Times in 2001 as he battled to make Nippon Professional Baseball's Seibu Lions.

And, with no major league experience, Paul made it, playing in the NPB in two seasons. He then didn't stop playing in one spot or another until 2005, seeing time in Korea, Mexico and back stateside in independent ball.

Paul's career in baseball began in 1987, taken by the Mariners in the 16th round of the draft out of Belmont High School in California.

With the Mariners, Paul started at short-season Bellingham, hitting .137 over 33 games. He then isn't recorded as playing in 1988, then returned to Bellingham for 1989. In 59 games that year, he hit .237.

For 1990, Paul moved to high-A Salinas, apparently still under control of the Mariners. There, his average improved little. He hit just .226, with four home runs.

Paul's time at Salinas, though, proved a precursor to things to come, with his eventual trip to Japan. That Salinas team was stocked with players from Japan and even had manager from Japan, Hide Koga.

To The San Francisco Chronicle that April, Paul spoke of the differences between the two baseball cultures.

"Their baseball customers and mannerisms are a little different," Paul told The Chronicle. "They really talk it up on the bench. They encourage the batter, the defense, everybody."

Then came Paul's time away from the game. It was in 1995 that Paul returned, playing the season with independent Grays Harbor. He hit .297 over 74 games. He then played at Tri-City in 1996 and 1998, and Chico in 1997.

Then, in 1999, Paul moved to Japan and the Seibu Lions, spotted by Seibu scouts playing in Taiwan, according to The Times. He got into 59 games for the Lions that year, hitting .257. He then got into 47 the next, hitting .242.

He also played for the Lions' entry in the minor league Eastern League. With that Eastern League club, Paul won two-straight triple crowns, according to The Times.

Paul then moved to Korea for 2002 and Mexico in 2003. He then played the final two seasons of his career in the independent Northern League, at Fargo-Moorhead, Joliet and Calgary.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:1,382
Made the Majors: 729 - 52.8%
Never Made Majors: 653-47.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 319
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 187-X

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