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Monday, July 24, 2017

Ron Blazier made bigs ahead of schedule, saw two seasons

Ron Blazier 1990 Princeton Patriots card
Taking a break from his off-season workout in January 1995, minor leaguer Ron Blazier spoke to his hometown Altoona Mirror about his progress and his expectations.

A veteran of five seasons, Blazier had yet to see AA. To The Mirror, though, he looked forward to the ultimate goal, the majors.

"I wasn't in a rush my first three years because I knew there were steps and I knew there were 200 people in front of me," Blazier told The Mirror. "Now I'd like to make it up (to the majors) within two or three years."

Blazier ultimately did make the majors. And he did it ahead of his self-ascribed schedule. Blazier debuted in Philadelphia just over a year later, in May 1996. The reliever saw time in two big league seasons, both with the Phillies. He got into 63 major league games in all.

Blazier started his career in 1990, signed by the Phillies as an undrafted free agent out of Bellwood High School in Pennsylvania.

Blazier started with the Phillies at rookie Princeton. He moved to short-season Batavia for 1991 and single-A Spartanburg in 1992. At Spartanburg, he went 14-7, used mostly as a starter. He also turned in a 2.65 ERA.

He then hit high-A Clearwater in 1993 and AA Reading in 1995. In 1996, he saw AAA Scranton and then made the big club.

Blazier picked up his first major league win in June, striking out two in an inning of work.

"It's nice to finally get this," Blazier told The Allentown Morning Call afterward. "I really can't put it into words. I had a few chances when I first came up, but they didn't pan out."

He picked up his second win in early July, helping to seal a victory with a 2.2-inning performance where he gave up two hits, but no runs.

Blazier went 3-1, with a 5.87 ERA for the Phillies over 27 appearances that year. He then returned for another 36 relief outings in 1997, with a 5.03 ERA.

A torn ligament, however, led to Tommy John surgery in 1998. He missed all of that year and then saw brief time at high-A and AA with the Orioles in 1999, ending his career.
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,700
Made the Majors:1,032-38.2%-X
Never Made Majors:1,668-61.8%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 426
10+ Seasons in the Minors:263

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