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Sunday, September 5, 2021

Keith Kimberlin played five seasons, made AAA; Believed injury helped restore game's fun

Keith Kimberlin injured his knee playing off-season soccer going into 1992, forcing reconstructive surgery and leading to a lost season, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote.

But, back on the field and with a new organization in 1993, Kimberlin felt his career rejuvenated, he told The Post-Dispatch.

"At times, it wasn't a whole lot of fun going to the ballpark," Kimberlin told The Post-Dispatch of his time with his original team, the Tigers. "But now I'm having more fun than I've ever had with the game."

Kimberlin had that fun with the Phillies at AA Reading. He ended up making AAA the next season, but, no matter how he felt, he ultimately fell short of the bigs.

Kimberlin's career began in 1989, taken by the Tigers in the 20th round of the draft out of Missouri Baptist University.

When he was informed by a scout that the Tigers had selected him, Kimberlin described to The Post-Dispatch his reaction.

"After he told me that I had been drafted, I was so nervous I had a hard time remembering what he said next," he told The Post-Dispatch.

Kimberlin started with the Tigers at short-season Niagara Falls. He hit .246 over 75 games. He then made high-A Lakeland for 1990 and hit .260 in 122 games.

For 1991, he made AA London. That spring, Kimberlin got a couple chances to play on the major league squad. He went 2 for 4 in one outing, The Detroit Free Press wrote.

"Any time they ask you to go over to play with the major-league club, it's fun," Kimberlin told The Free Press

Kimberlin went on to play the season at London. He hit .233 over 107 games. After his season lost to injury, he played 1993 at Reading and hit .264 over 137 games.

He then played 1994 at Reading and at AAA Scranton. He saw 21 games at Reading  and 20 at Scranton. He hit .151 over the two levels to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,732
Made the Majors:1,265-33.9%
Never Made Majors:2,467-66.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:523
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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