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Friday, November 11, 2022

John Viera saw college career imperiled by miscommunication; Saw four pro seasons, made AAA

A miscommunication imperiled John Viera's college baseball career, but not his chance at the pros.

After helping Miami to the 1988 College World Series, though with a down year himself, his coach thought he'd quit because he didn't hear from him, The Miami Herald wrote.

"I didn't quit," Viera told The Herald then after the mix-up became known. "You don't become disinterested in something you've done all your life."

Viera continued on. He played another season at Miami. He then continued in the pros. His pro career spanned four seasons. He briefly made AAA.

Viera's career began in 1990, signed by the Yankees as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Miami.

Viera went to Miami with high expectations, The Miami News wrote, but he struggled early. But he also had glimmers, including a March 1988 grand slam hit with his team down 3-0.

"Going around those bases was the greatest feeling I've ever had in baseball up to now," Viera told The News after that game. "Anytime I get a hit it helps my confidence. That's the only way you can get it back."

Viera signed with the Yankees in October 1989 and hit the field at high-A Prince William in 1990. He got into 68 games at Prince William. He hit .243.

He made AA Albany-Colonie for 88 games in 1991. He hit .266 there and also saw time back at Prince William. He split time between the two levels again in 1992, hitting .248 between them.

Viera returned for 1993 and made AAA Columbus. But his stay there proved brief. He saw three games there to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,068
Made the Majors:1,349-33.2%
Never Made Majors:2,719-66.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:549
10+ Seasons in the Minors:333

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