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Monday, August 8, 2022

Garland Kiser returned to pros from early setback; His return took him all the way to bigs

Garland Kiser's first stint in the minors, with the Phillies, didn't work out as he'd hoped. So, he soon signed on with a new team, the Indians, his hometown Kingsport Times-News wrote.

"I can still pitch, my confidence has gotten a lot better," Kiser told The Times-News in August 1988 as his new rookie Burlington team visited Kingsport. "I want to prove to the Phillies, to the Indians and to myself I can pitch again."

Kiser eventually did just that. He proved himself all the way to Cleveland for seven major league relief outings in 1991. 

Kiser's career began in 1986, taken by the Phillies in the 24th round out of Sullivan Central High School in Blountville, Tenn.

Kiser reacted to his June 1986 selection and signing to The Times-News.

"It's great," Kiser told The Times-News. "It was great just to be drafted by anybody. But I expected it to be the Phillies because they had been talking to me all along."

Kiser started with the Phillies at short-season Bend. He went 4-5 in 14 outings, 12 starts, with a 5.48 ERA. He then saw single-A Spartanburg and went 0-5, with a 6.49 ERA in 21 outings, five starts.

With the Indians, though, he improved. He played 1988 in rookie ball, in the GCL and at Burlington. He went 7-3 overall, with a 1.55 ERA.

He then saw short-season Watertown and single-A Kinston in 1989 and then Kinston at high-A for all of 1990. He went 5-3 in 1990, with a 1.71 ERA in 55 relief outings. He also saved nine.

Kiser played 1991 between Kinston and AA Canton-Akron. Then, that September, he got called up to Cleveland. He saw seven relief outings, amounting to 4.2 innings of work, and gave up five earned.

Ahead of his September call-up, Kiser pitched four perfect innings before giving up a bloop single, The Hartford Courant wrote.

"I just tried to keep myself out of trouble in a one-run game," Kiser told The Courant afterward. 

Kiser returned to Canton-Akron for 1992. He went 3-2 in 39 relief outings, one start. He had a 3.54 ERA. 

He then played 1993 with the Brewers at AAA New Orleans and then saw two outings at AA Carolina with the Pirates in 1994. He saw his final time in 1996 at independent Salinas to end is career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,997
Made the Majors:1,330-33.3%-X
Never Made Majors:2,667-66.7%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:544
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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