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Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Rob Stiegele found himself alongside HOFers as batboy; Later turned pro, saw two seasons

A year into his college career in 1985, Rob Stiegele managed to find himself a spot alongside Hall of Famers like Sandy Koufax, Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson, The South Florida Sun Sentinel wrote.

He did so as batboy for an old-timers game in Washington, The Sun Sentinel wrote. He also found himself in awe.

"Do you know what it's like for a player my age to catch Koufax and be on the same field with guys like Aaron in front of (26,770) people?" Stiegele told The Sun Sentinel that July. "Those guys are still super players. They play like they could go on forever."

Stiegele eventually continued playing himself on to the pros. Stiegele's career, however, proved to have a short expiration date. His pro career lasted two seasons. He topped out at high-A.

Stiegele's career began in 1989, signed by the Orioles as a free agent out of Wake Forest.

Stiegele previously played American Legion ball with Margate Post 157. Stiegele hit .500 there during summer 1984. Stiegele credited his high school coach at Cardinal Gibbons for his success to that point, according to The Miami Herald.

"In little league ball, you play just for fun," Stiegele told The Herald. "Professional ball is nothing but a dream. As you get better people say, 'Hey, this kid may have a shot someday,' and you begin to wonder."

He then went on to play at Brevard Community College. In May 1986, Stiegele helped his team to the JUCO World Series title game with two home runs, one a grand slam, The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel wrote.

"Rob is one of the people we count on offensively to find a way to help us win," Stiegele's coach Ernie Rosseau told The Daily Sentinel. "He's been doing it all year."

Stiegele started with the Orioles in 1989 at rookie Bluefield. He saw 55 games there and hit .324, with nine home runs. He went 2 for 2 in a July game, scoring a run.

He moved to high-A Frederick for 1990, but his season saw him suffer from a sore shoulder and proved limited to 10 games. He went 5 for 28 to end his career.

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

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