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Monday, October 3, 2016

Tony Baldwin, Lifetime Goal - 19

Originally published Jan. 19, 2014
Tony Baldwin had his sights set on the majors, but his mind was also back home. Back home, Baldwin had a fiancee and a 5-year-old son.

With that, he had thought about quitting, he told The Sumter Item in July 1988 as he played for the single-A Sumter Braves, but he pressed on.

"This is still an opportunity of a lifetime," Baldwin told The Item. "It's a chance to make more money than I could possibly make if I quit. My fiancee encourages me to stay with it - we sit and talk about it all the time. It's a chance to fulfill a lifetime goal."

Baldwin ended up pressing on for two more seasons, but he never fulfilled that lifetime goal. He also never made AA.

Baldwin's opportunity began in 1987, taken by the Braves in the 11th round of the draft, out of McLennan Community College in Texas.

With the Braves, Baldwin started at rookie Pulaski. He hit .301 over 54 games. He also hit seven home runs and stole 23 bases.

He moved to Sumter for 1988. There, he stole 38 bases over 114 games. His average, though, dropped to .245. He hit a three-run home run in an early June game. In July, he went 4 for 5 in another game, scoring three times.

Baldwin arrived at single-A Burlington for 1989, but his average dropped further, to .219. He also stole 20 bases. He remained at Burlington in 1990, but a .212 average and just nine steals ended his career short of his goal.

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