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Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Mark Cole caught a new pro chance at Reno; Played six seasons, made AA

Mark Cole started his career with the Tigers. But, by 1991, the Tigers didn't see him in their future and released him, The Sacramento Bee wrote.

So, Cole caught on with co-op Reno in the California League, believing he had the potential to play in the big leagues, he told The Bee. He then got off to a good start.

"I am very happy," Cole told The Bee. "I'm getting a chance to play every day, and I've been playing well."

Cole eventually returned affiliated ball later that same year, with the Brewers at high-A. He then briefly made it to AA two seasons later. He topped out there.

Cole's career began in 1989, taken by the Tigers in the 15th round of the draft out of the University of Oklahoma. He went to Oklahoma out of Kennedy High School in Sacramento.

Cole started with the Tigers at single-A Fayetteville. He got into 49 games there and hit .237. 

Detroit Free Press columnist Mitch Albom visited Fayetteville and interviewed Cole and other players about their lives in the minors. Cole spoke of the isolation and letter writing.

"Man, when I was in college, I never wrote a letter," Cole told Albom. "I had friends all around me. But here, it's like, you write 'em so you can get 'em. We get our mail at the stadium. And if they give it out and you don't get a letter, you're like bummed for (the) whole day."

Cole moved to high-A Lakeland for 1990. He hit .230 in 105 games, his last with the Tigers.

He signed on with Reno for 1991. He got into 82 games  and hit .269. He then signed with the Brewers late and played at high-A Stockton. He hit .191 in 17 games.

He returned to Stockton for all of 1992, where he hit .254 in 111 games. He remained optimistic that July, he told The Bee.

"I'm having a consistent year, hitting  the ball well and playing great defense," Cole told The Bee. I'm just looking for a break and want to be ready physically and mentally."

Cole played at Stockton again for most of 1993. He also got five games at AA El Paso. He went 5 for 16 at El Paso. That season proved his last in affiliated ball.

He played one more season, in independent ball. He saw independent Saskatoon and independent Champaign-Urbana to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,729
Made the Majors:1,263-33.9%
Never Made Majors:2,466-66.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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