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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Al LeBoeuf has helped hitters in minors for three decades, after own minors playing career

Fresh off his own playing career, Al LeBoeuf worked with young Phillies minor leaguers in 1989, among them top pick Jeff Jackson, The Philadelphia Daily News wrote

"Al (LeBoeuf) is teaching him to stay in and hit that pitch to right field," rookie Martinsville manager Roly DeArmas told The Daily News. "Jeff has such good bat speed that he can drive the ball that way."

LeBeauf served that year as a coach at Martinsville after eight seasons spent in the minors as a player. He made it to AAA over four of those seasons, but not the bigs. 

But LeBeauf has continued working with young hitters in the years since, coaching at various levels  of the minors for more than three decades, continuing into 2021.

He's also overcome adversity, specifically a rare form of blood cancer

LeBeauf's long career in baseball began in 1981, taken by the Phillies in the 28th round of the draft out of Eastern Connecticut State University.

LeBeauf started at rookie Helena. He hit .315 in 48 games. He moved to single-A Peninsula in 1982, then AA Reading in 1984 and AAA Portland in 1985. He then played at AAA for three seasons and part of 1988 to mark the extent of his playing career.

By 1990, he was hitting coach at high-A Clearwater. He moved to a six-season stint at managing in 1993 at short-season Batavia. That September, he watched one of his young relievers, Pete Agostinelli, throw a seven-inning no-hitter in his pro starting debut, The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle wrote.

"I was really worried about my endurance," Agostinelli told The Democrat and Chronicle afterward. "I got through three and my manager (LeBeauf) asked me if I could go another. Then, I pitched the fourth, and he asked me again. After the fifth inning, he stopped asking."

LeBoeuf returned to coaching in 1999 at AAA Scranton. And he's continued coaching, including in 2021 at AAA Nashville.

LeBoeuf's cancer came in late in 2012. After undergoing grueling treatment, he returned to the field, wrote.

"Whenever anybody mentions the 'C-word,' it's devastating and life-changing," LeBoeuf told "But after you get over the initial shock, you have two choices: you can pack it in and succumb to it or you can grind it out and realize you have a lot to live for. And I still have a lot to live for."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,755
Made the Majors:1,271-33.9%
Never Made Majors:2,484-66.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:524
10+ Seasons in the Minors:310

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