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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Brian McCann, Trainer's Goal - 100

Alexandria Dukes trainer Brian McCann looked at the players whose ankles he taped and might as well have seen himself.

McCann was fresh out of college, new to the minor league experience, as were most of his players on that Carolina League team. The players and the trainer also all had the same goal - to make the major leagues.

"My goal," McCann told The Pittsburgh Press outright in June 1982, "is to be a major league trainer. You could not learn in a classroom what it takes to be a professional baseball trainer."

McCann would eventually reach his goal, being named in late 1994 as an assistant trainer for the Chicago Cubs. But, again like his players, the path to a major league training room would be a long one, taking him to a new city almost every year.

A Pennsylvania-native, McCann started his baseball career with the Pirates, in the low minors and fresh out of Penn State. His 1982 stint with single-A Alexandria would give way to a promotion for 1983 to the AA Lynn Pirates

McCann stayed with the franchise for 1984 on the move to Nashua, watching over Pirates prospect Jim Opie, who was hit by an Albany A's pitch. Opie told The Nashua Telegraph he felt OK, but McCann wanted to wait until a radiologist looked at the X-ray in the morning.

By 1989, McCann was in the Cubs system, working as the trainer for AA Charlotte, with manager Jim Essian. McCann followed Essian up to AAA Iowa for 1990.

McCann returned with Essian to Iowa for 1991. It was McCann who relayed the news to Essian that the Cubs fired manager Don Zimmer, according to Sports Illustrated. Shortly after, Essian found out who Zimmer's replacement would be: Essian himself.

It was in late 1994 that McCann got the call himself as assistant trainer, a job he held for three years.
1990 CMC Tally
Cards Reviewed:
109/880 - 12.4%
Made the Majors: 68 - 62%
Never Made the Majors: 41 - 38%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 27
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 39

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