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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Brian Champion used ability to play 6 seasons, made AA

Brian Champion 1990 Greenville Braves card, Champion posed up close

One of Centennial High School's rival pitchers won the Idaho Baseball Player of the Year award in 2015 and Centennial's coach Brian Champion could only give praise, according to The Idaho Statesman.

"His hitting, pitching and shortstop ability make him the complete ballplayer and the guy who can change a game at any time," Champion told The Statesman of the pitcher, Parker Price. "He is the definite leader of their team and the catalyst to them having an excellent year and winning the state title."

Champion used his own ability years earlier to make the pros as an infielder. He played six seasons, making AA, but not higher.

Champion's career began in 1986, taken by the Braves in the second round of the draft out of Corvallis High School in Oregon.

Champion started with the Braves in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .251 in 56 games. He moved to rookie Pulaski for 1987. He hit .284 over 67 games and made the league All Star team.

Champion played 1988 at single-A Burlington, then 1989 at single-A Durham. He hit .240 in 1988 and .254 in 1989.

He made AA for the first time in 1990, getting 34 games at Greenville and playing the rest of the year at Durham. He then played all of 1991 at Greenville. He hit .226, walking in a June game. His 1991 season turned out to be his last as a pro.

Champion has since gone on to be a coach in high school. He served as the longtime baseball coach at Sprague High School in Salem, Ore. He then moved to Centennial in 2012, heading the baseball program there and also coaching football.
Brian Champion 1990 Greenville Braves card, Champion posed up close

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,454
Made the Majors: 997-40.6%
Never Made Majors:1,457-59.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 416
10+ Seasons in the Minors:252

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