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Sunday, August 13, 2023

Kelly Stinnett had attitude, frame of mind to make bigs over 14 seasons

Kelly Stinnett 1990 Watertown Indians card

After returning to college for the spring 1990 campaign, Seminole Junior College catcher Kelly Stennett looked forward to the pros with The Tulsa World.

"I think I have the right attitude and frame of mind," Stinnett told The World. "... I just like to play the game. I always try to be ready when I walk across the line. I like to work and I like to win."

Stinnett soon went on to his pro career, one where he made the majors by 1994. His big league career would then span 14 seasons.

Stinnett's career began that year in 1990, taken by the Indians the previous year in the 11th round of the draft out of Seminole.

Stinnett started with the Indians in 1990 at short-season Watertown. He hit .240 in 60 games. He then saw single-A Columbus in 1991, AA Canton-Akron in 1992 and AAA Charlotte in 1993. 

He was then taken by the Mets for 1994 in the Rule 5 draft and spent the season in the majors. He got into 47 games for the Mets and hit .253. Early that June, he picked up four hits in an 11-3 win.

"I always had confidence in Kelly," Mets manager Dallas Green told Gannett afterward. "There's no question he did a fine job offensively and caught a fine game."

Stinnett returned to the Mets for 77 games in 1995,then saw 14 and 30 games with the Brewers in 1996 and 1997. 

He arrived with the Diamondbacks in 1998 and hit .259 in 92 games. He saw 88 games in 1999 and hit .232. That September, he ran out a dropped third strike late and gave his team an added chance, The Associated Press wrote.

"I run all the time," Stinnett told The AP. "That's the way I was taught. You always run. It can be a tough play for a catcher. There's not a catcher that hasn't thrown it away before."

Stinnett stayed with the Diamondbacks through 2000. He moved to the Reds for 2001 and hit two home runs in a July game. After playing for the Phillies, Royals and Diamondbacks again, Stinnett arrived with the Yankees for 2006 as Jorge Posada's backup.

"I know my role. I'm not going to rock any boats or anything," Stinnett told The AP upon signing with the Yankees. 

Stinnett saw 34 games for the Yankees that year, then seven with the Mets. He then ended his career in 2007 with 26 final games with the Cardinals.

Stinnett soon became a coach and manager. He managed at independent Watertown in 2015, then served as head coach at Benedictine-Mesa and Park U. Gilbert. He remains head coach at Park U. Gilbert in 2023.

Kelly Stinnett 1990 Watertown Indians card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,204
Made the Majors:1,380-32.8%-X
Never Made Majors:2,824-67.2%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:561-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:344

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