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Thursday, November 10, 2022

Curtis Ralph felt confident in himself, then saw eight pro seasons; Made AAA

Sacramento City College hurler Curtis Ralph readied to head off to the pros in June 1988, signing with the Yankees after an initial long wait, The Sacramento Bee wrote

Ralph expressed satisfaction, the Yankees did, too, The Bee wrote.

"I've heard it's hard," Ralph told The Bee of the pros. "But I feel confident in myself now. I think I'll do pretty good."

Ralph ended up playing professionally over eight seasons. He made AAA in two of those campaigns, but fell short of the bigs.

Ralph's career began that year in 1988, taken by the Yankees in the 27th round of the draft out of Sacramento City College.

In August 1987, Ralph explained his growth as a pitcher with Sacramento City College to The Bee.

"I used to just throw the ball instead of pitch. I used to try to strike guys out," Ralph told The Bee. "Now, I'm learning when to throw certain pitches, all the mental parts of the game, all the tricks."

Ralph started with the Yankees in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He went 6-0, with a 2.64 ERA in 12 starts.

He moved to single-A Fort Lauderdale for 1989. He took a July win allowing two runs over seven innings. He went 6-2 in 15 outings, 10 starts, with a 3.94 ERA.

Ralph moved to high-A Prince William for 1990 and 1991, then split 1992 between Prince William and Fort Lauderdale and underwent rotator cuff surgery. He played all of 1993 at Prince William.

He finally got passed high-A and made AA at Albany-Colonie in 1994. He saw 43 relief outings there and went 7-2, with a 2.35 ERA. He also saw an appearance at AAA Columbus.

Ralph moved to the Pirates system for 1995. He saw 18 outings at AA Carolina and 28 at AAA Calgary. Overall, he went 2-5, with a 5.74 ERA to end his career.

Ralph reflected on his career years later to The Woodland Daily Democrat, including missing the bigs.

“It was very disappointing," Ralph told The Daily Democrat of topping out at AAA and the end of his career. "At the same time, eight years in minors, I felt like I had given everything I had. Because of that, I don't have any regrets. I felt I'd given it a good shot."

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,067
Made the Majors:1,349-33.2%
Never Made Majors:2,718-66.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:549
10+ Seasons in the Minors:333

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