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Wednesday, December 20, 2023

Mark Parnell impressed at tryout, played four pro seasons

Mark Parnell 1990 Baseball City Royals card

After a season with an independent co-op team, Mark Parnell tried his luck with the Royals in an open tryout in spring 1989, The Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote.

"I was real nervous there and to a certain point, intimidated, and when I saw all the other guys there I was kind of overwhelmed," Parnell told The Times-Dispatch. "(But) I guess I impressed them a little."

From that tryout, Parnell joined the Royals system. He went on to play three more seasons. He topped out at AA.

Parnell's career began in 1988, signed by independent co-op Virginia out of Newport University in Virginia.

That first year with Virginia, Parnell saw 24 relief outings and went 3-2, with a 3.38 ERA and eight saves.

He played most of 1989 with the Royals at single-A Appleton. He also saw two relief outings at AA Memphis. Overall, he went 2-3, with a 2.06 ERA in 48 relief outings. He also saved 28.

That June, he spoke with his hometown Newport News Daily Press about his progress.

"I've worked hard at pitching all my life," Parnell told The Daily Press. "It's my dream and if my career stopped right now, I'd be more than happy. I did what I set out to do and I just want to go as far as I can."

Parnell then played 1990 between high-A Baseball City and Memphis. He saw 53 relief appearances on the year and went 3-3, with a 2.66 ERA and 18 saves. 

He spoke with The Tampa Tribune in June 1990 about his size - 5 feet, 9 inches - and his new nickname with Baseball City - Mighty Mouse.

"I guess you could say I've done it about the hardest way possible," Parnell told The Tribune. "I've always had to prove myself over and over. I've accepted the fact that my size has always been something that I've had to overcome."

Parnell then played all of 1991 at Memphis. He went 4-5, with a 3.04 ERA in 58 outings. He saved 17. He started 1992 back at Memphis, then moved to the Reds system and single-A Charleston to finish the year. That season proved his last as a pro.

Mark Parnell 1990 Baseball City Royals card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,278
Made the Majors:1,389-32.5%
Never Made Majors:2,889-67.5%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:565
10+ Seasons in the Minors:347

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