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Monday, July 23, 2012

Darryl Ratliff, Was There- 724

The Sumter batter hit it deep, but Darryl Ratliff was there.

His team up 5-4 in the ninth, Ratliff ran down the ball, making an over-the-shoulder catch to preserve that May 1990 Augusta win, The Sumter Item wrote.

Ratliff ran down that ball in his second professional season. He would go on to run down balls in a total of 11 seasons as a pro, and teach others the game after his playing career was over.

Ratliff, though, never got a chance to run down balls in the majors, getting to AAA in parts of four seasons, but getting no higher.

Ratliff's career began in 1988, taken by the Pirates in the fifth round of the draft, out of Cabrillo College. Ratliff's name has also been spelled Daryl Ratliff.

Ratliff first hit the field for the Pirates in 1989, playing at rookie Princeton. The 19-year-old hit .245, stealing 10 bases.

He moved to single-A Augusta for 1990, helping save that May game and hitting .295 on the year. He also stole 24 bases.

Ratliff first made AA in 1991 with 24 games at Carolina, making Carolina full time for 1992. By May 1992, Ratliff was called by The Beaver County Times a "speedy outfield prospect," but they also noted he started slow at the plate, hitting .216. He ended up hitting .240.

Ratliff, though, didn't make AAA until 1995, his seventh season as a pro. In 95 games at Calgary that year, he hit well, .343. He picked up three hits in one June game, but he didn't get the call to Pittsburgh.

Ratliff returned to the Pirates system for 1996, but it was his last year in affiliated ball. He played three more years, two in Mexico and one in independent ball, ending his career.

Ratliff has gone on to a career as an instructor in his home state of California. In 2001, Ratliff was credited by a high schooler with working to improve his swing and mental preparation, The Santa Cruz Sentinel wrote. For 2012, Ratliff is serving as a coach for the Santa Cruz Tritons youth baseball club.
1990 CMC Tally  
Cards Featured: 830/880 - 94.3%
Players/Coaches Featured: 841
Made the Majors: 577 - 69%
Never Made the Majors:264-31%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 258
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 157-X

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