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Friday, May 28, 2021

Joe Hawkins spent years as a trainer in the minors, then turned to high school

Presented with a player complaining of chest pains in August 2002, West Tennessee trainer Joe Hawkins sent the player for some tests. Inconclusive, he then sent the player home for some rest, The Jackson Sun wrote.

"We've seen fatalities over the years and we're just being extra cautious," Hawkins explained to The Sun.

By that point, Hawkins had had years of experience as a trainer in the minors, 15 years. He later settled in North Carolina, in sports medicine at a local high school.

Hawkins started his training career in North Carolina at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where he majored in biology and minored in athletic training.

He then signed on with the Mets for 1988. He served as a trainer that year and the next in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He moved to short-season Pittsfield for 1990.

He served as trainer at high-A St. Lucie for 1991 and at AA Binghamton by 1992. He arrived at AAA Norfolk by 1995.

He stayed with Norfolk through 2001. Hawkins then moved to the Cubs and AA West Tennessee for 2002.

By 2012, Hawkins was with the Appalachian Regional Healthcare System on its Rehabilitation Center team and as athletic trainer at Avery High School in Newland, N.C.

"Joe brings a great deal of experience to our system," high school AD Jay Smith told The High Country Press. "Our student athletes now have a full-time person at school, not only to monitor at the games, but to do rehabilitation during lunch and before practice. He is also available on Saturday mornings."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,660
Made the Majors:1,252-34.2%
Never Made Majors:2,408-65.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:308

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