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Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Ken Shamburg realized he'd always have another at-bat; Played over 11 pro seasons, missed bigs

Originally published May 3, 2022

Ken Shamburg went through a short slump at Louisiana Tech in May 1989, but he took it with some perspective, he told The Shreveport Times.

The senior, by that point, had the experience to move forward, he told The Times.

"It has taken me four years to realize that if you screw up, you'll always get another at-bat," Shamburg told The Times. "I finally got to realizing that. ... Why let one at-bat ruin the rest of your game?"

Shamburg soon got more at bats, and plenty of them, in the pros. He eventually saw time over 11 pro seasons, in the affiliated minors, Mexico and independent leagues. His career, though, topped out at AAA.

Shamburg's career began in 1989, signed by the Orioles as an undrafted free agent out of Louisiana Tech.

Shamburg started with the Orioles at single-A Frederick. He got into 52 games and hit .254. He also hit seven home runs, including one in his first professional at bat, he recalled to his hometown Redding Searchlight later.

"It was a three-two fastball," Shamburg told The Searchlight in September 1991. "I remember running around the bases and thinking I couldn't wait to call my parents."

Shamburg then returned to Frederick for 66 games in 1990. He also saw 72 at AA Hagerstown and two at AAA Rochester.

He started the 1990 campaign hitting .441 over his first 17 games, amounting to 30 hits at Frederick, The Newport News Daily Press wrote. He hit .298 overall, with nine home runs.

"I'd like to be hitting more home runs because everybody expects it," Shamburg told The Daily Press then. "But everybody says to keep hitting the ball the way I'm hitting it."

He spent much of 1991 back at Hagerstown, along with 13 games back at Rochester. He saw 58 games at Rochester in 1992, along with 18 with the Brewers at AAA Denver.

Shamburg played 1993 in Mexico, then moved to independent ball. He played three seasons with independent Tyler and three more at independent Chico. His third season at Chico ended up being his last as a pro, alongside work as the team's hitting coach.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,105
Made the Majors:1,360-33.1%
Never Made Majors:2,745-66.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:553
10+ Seasons in the Minors:336

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