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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Larry Stanford had right pitches to make bigs, but elbow injury left him short of majors

Larry Stanford had himself a big second pro season in 1990. By early August that year, he'd amassed 24 saves for the Yankees at high-A Fort Lauderdale and had posted a 1.49 ERA, The South Florida Sun Sentinel wrote.

The performance seemingly backed Stanford's draft status, a sixth-rounder the previous year, and more, The Sun Sentinel wrote.

"I was so glad we drafted him," Yankees scout Tony Santin told The Sun Sentinel. "This kid is a real talent. A natural stopper. He has the kind of attitude and the right pitches to make it to the big leagues."

Stanford, though, never made the bigs. He briefly saw AAA, then saw his career sidetracked by an elbow injury. He ultimately saw time in five pro seasons.

Stanford's career began in 1989, with that sixth-round selection out of Florida International University.

Stanford started with the Yankees at short-season Oneonta. He also began as a starter. In 15 games, all starts, he went 4-3, with a 3.83 ERA.

He then moved to Fort Lauderdale and moved to relief. That June, after 16 saves, his home state's Hartford Courant noted his success. 

"I just came into this year saying, 'I'm a reliever again, let's see what happens,'" Stanford told The Courant. "Then the first few games, I came in and got saves and I have just been on a roll with my confidence."

In all, he got into 57 games, saved 29 and turned in a 1.31 ERA. He moved up to Albany-Colonie for 1991. He got into 52 games there, had a 1.89 ERA and saved 24.

Then came 1992. He started the year at AAA Columbus - and he soon suffered torn ligaments in his elbow. He saw just two games and underwent surgery to repair his elbow. He worked to get back, but he missed all of 1993.

He made it back to the field for 1994, with the Rockies at AA New Haven.

"[The Rockies] were just starting out and I thought I might have an opportunity," Stanford told The Courant at the start of 1994. "And I needed to come back slowly. I'm happy they're giving me this chance."

Stanford's season, however, lasted just six outings, eight innings. He gave up eight earned. Those outings marked the last of his career.

1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,600
Made the Majors:1,246-34.6%
Never Made Majors:2,354-65.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:519
10+ Seasons in the Minors:305

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