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Sunday, July 24, 2022

Lee Plemel won CWS top player award; Saw five pro seasons, made AA, Rolling Stone

Stanford's Lee Plemel started out the 1988 season 5-6, The Los Angeles Times wrote. But then the turned it around.

"From there, I concentrated on each game one at a time," Plemel told The Times.

Plemel's work eventually paid off, for Plemel - and for his Stanford teammates. Plemel spoke to The Times after Stanford took the 1988 College World Series title and Plemel, with two complete game wins, took the title of series most outstanding player.

Plemel then turned pro. His pro career ended up lasting five seasons. He topped out in two seasons at AA. He also earned some notoriety as a musician, alongside major leaguer Jack McDowell.

Plemel's pro career began that year in 1988, taken by the Cardinals in the fifth round of the draft out of Stanford University.

That 1988 College World Series victory for Plemel and Stanford proved their second-straight. They also won in 1987. Along their way to that victory, Plemel threw a complete-game victory against top-ranked Texas.

"I thought I might come out in the eighth," Plemel told The Associated Press after that victory. "But I was still making good pitches. Fifty percent of my pitches are breaking balls normally, but I threw mostly curveballs tonight."

Plemel started with the Cardinals between single-A Savannah, St. Petersburg and short-season Hamilton. He went 3-3, with a 3.28 ERA in nine starts between them.

He played 1989 between single-A Springfield and St. Petersburg. He went 8-7 that year, with a 2.62 ERA. He then played all of 1990 at St. Petersburg, then high-A and made AA Arkansas in 1991.

Plemel went 1-3, with a 3.30 ERA in 53 outings, one start at Arkansas in 1991. 

At the close of that season, The Shreveport Times featured Plemel the player and the musician. Plemel had met McDowell at Stanford. They, along with another pitcher, Wayne Edwards, formed the rock band V.I.E.W. They even got a good review in Rolling Stone.

"We're proud of our music," Plemel told The Shreveport Times. "It made us feel good to get that kind of recognition. It showed us we're not just hammering around."

Plemel returned to Arkansas for 1992. He saw 13 relief appearances. He went 1-1, with a 3.86 ERA to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,975
Made the Majors:1,324-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,651-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:541
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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