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Saturday, April 2, 2022

Anthony Kelley struck out Bo twice at AA; Saw eight pro seasons, made AAA

Anthony Kelley knew Bo Jackson. He also knew he struck him out twice in one July 1986 game at AA Columbus, The Birmingham Post-Herald wrote.

"I went right at him," Kelley told The Post-Herald then of the still-draft-fresh Jackson. "I don't give anybody any respect until he deserves it. I wanted to see what he had and if he took me out of the yard, hey I'll go to something else. I struck him out twice."

While Jackson would soon impress enough to impress many fans in the majors, Kelley never could do that. In a career that spanned eight seasons, he never made the bigs. He topped out at AAA.

Kelley's career began in 1983, taken by the Astros in the 18th round of the draft out of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Kelley started with the Astros at short-season Auburn. He went 5-2, with a 3.83 ERA. He then played 1984 at single-A Asheville and 1985 between single-A Osceola and AA Columbus. He went 15-9 thta year, with a 3.08 ERA.

He then played 1986 entirely at Columbus and went 14-4, with a 3.63 ERA, and won league pitcher of the year. He then played 1987 at AAA Tucson. Early that May in 1987, he then threw the team's first shutout, The Tucson Citizen wrote.

"I didn't feel any different from normal," Kelley told The Citizen, referencing his dominant previous season. "Come in and throw strikes, that's all."

Kelley went 6-8 for Tucson that year, with a 5.20 ERA. He then played both of the next two seasons there, including a shortened 12-start 1989 campaign.

For 1990, he played mostly at independent high-A Miami. He went 5-8, with a 4.58 ERA. in 30 outings, 19 starts. He also saw two final games at AAA, with the Orioles in Rochester. He gave up four earned in seven innings. That season marked his last as a pro.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,881
Made the Majors:1,296-33.4%
Never Made Majors:2,585-66.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:528
10+ Seasons in the Minors:325

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