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Monday, December 28, 2020

Rob Kerrigan signed as pro with backing of uncle; Played five seasons, made high-A

Four scouts traveled Pennsylvania's Archbishop Wood High in May 1985 to watch Rob Kerrigan pitch, but Kerrigan felt no nerves, he told The Philadelphia Inquirer then.

That's because he'd been in many high-pressure situations already, including throwing for Expos brass the previous summer, The Inquirer wrote.

"That's pressure," Kerrigan told The Inquirer of the Expos tryout facilitated by his uncle, former major leaguer Joe Kerrigan. "I'm just having fun in a high school game."

Kerrigan made enough of an impression with the Expos to sign with them the next summer. His pro career ended up lasting five seasons. He made high-A.

Kerrigan's career started in 1986, signed by the Expos as an undrafted free agent out of Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania.

When he signed with the Expos, he joined the organization where his uncle still worked as a the big league club's bullpen coach. The signing also came after another tryout, one where he threw to his uncle.

"My uncle got me the chance and I did fabulous," Kerrigan told The Philadelphia Daily News. "It felt funny, having my uncle involved, but he couldn't do anything for me except catch the ball. I tried to block everything out and pretend I was throwing to someone else."

He started with the Expos in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He went 3-2 over 17 outings, with a 4.89 ERA.

Kerrigan moved to short-season Jamestown for 1987, then saw Jamestown and single-A Rockford for 1988. He saw 21 relief outings over 1988. He saved six and had a 1.31 ERA.

He spent much of 1989 back at Rockford, then arrived at single-A West Palm Beach at year's end. He picked up a late-August save there, giving up a single hit in 2.1 innings of work, The Palm Beach Post wrote.

"I was just slinging it at first and getting inside too much," Kerrigan told The Post afterward. "(Coach) Dave Tomlin told me to get on top. From there on, it was smooth sailing."

Kerrigan returned to West Palm Beach for 1990. He went 10-2 over 51 relief outings, with a 3.46 ERA and 11 saves. That season marked his last as a pro.

Kerrigan returned home to Pennsylvania, then relocated to the Houston area in 2007. In 2019, he founded Texas Dawgs Baseball and continued a president and chairman in 2020.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,542
Made the Majors:1,228-34.7%
Never Made Majors:2,314-65.3%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:510
10+ Seasons in the Minors:304

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