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Monday, August 2, 2021

Jay Knoblauh played to win over seven pro seasons; Made AAA, missed bigs

The 1992 International League title on line, Jay Knoblauh stepped up and got his Columbus Clippers to the championship, The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader wrote.

Knoblauh tied the title-clincher in the ninth with a single and had clutch hits elsewhere in the series as he took home the series MVP award, The Times Leader wrote.

"It's a great feeling," Knoblauh told The Times Leader. "That's what people live for. People play the game for that reason. That's what these games are about."

Knoblauh took home that title series MVP award at the close of his fifth season as a pro. He went on to see two more campaigns. He never experienced the feeling of playing in the majors.

Knoblauh's career began in 1988, taken by the Yankees in the 17th round of the draft out of Rice University. 

Coming out of Rice, Knoblauh's uncle Bernie Knoblauh spoke to The Allentown Morning Call about his nephew's future.

"Playing major league baseball is certainly his fondest hope," Bernie Knoblauh told The Morning Call. "But he knows he's not going to play baseball all his life. That's why he's also a very good student."

He started with the Yankees at short-season Oneonta. He hit .174 in 40 games. He moved to single-A Peninsula and single-A Fort Lauderdale for 1989, then high-A Fort Lauderdale and high-A Prince William for 1990. He hit .270 for 1990.

For 1991, he made AA Albany-Colonie and then AAA Columbus. He hit .309 in 31 games at Columbus that year.

He split his time again in 1992 between Columbus and Albany-Colonie in 1992. He hit .237 in 68 games at Albany-Colonie. He picked up two hits, including a home run in a June win.

"Our goal for this month was to get to .500," Knoblauh told The Schenectady Daily Gazette afterward. "You play the game to win."

Knoblauh then saw 56 games at Columbus in 1993, then 87 games at high-A Lynchburg in 1995 to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,709
Made the Majors:1,257-33.9%
Never Made Majors:2,452-66.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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