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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Aubrey Waggoner, Ran Home - 1120

Aubrey Waggoner broke for home. He'd already stolen one base on this trip, taking second. Now, after taking third on an out in this tie game, he was going for steal No. 2.

When Waggoner crossed the plate for the AA Birmingham Barons in this April 1989 contest, the score was no longer tied. Waggoner's run eventually proved the difference in the game, according to The Associated Press.

Waggoner was running in his fifth professional season that year with Birmingham, a career where he had already topped 50 stolen bases in a season twice. He went on to extend his run in the pros to 11 seasons. He could never run himself to the majors.

Waggoner's career began in 1985, taken by the White Sox in the fifth round of the draft, out of Dwight D. Eisenhower High School in California.

With the White Sox, Waggoner started in the rookie Gulf Coast League, returning there for 1986. He also got time in 1986 at single-A Appleton, hitting .181 over 60 games. Despite the average, though, Waggoner swiped 29 bases. Add those to the 18 he stole in the GCL and four at single-A Peninsula and Waggoner had 51 on the year.

At Peninsula for all of 1987, Waggoner had an even better year on the base paths, stealing 52. He also improved his average to .265.

Waggoner played an abbreviated 1988, with 56 games between single-A Tampa and AA Birmingham. He then returned to Birmingham for all of 1989, hitting .228 and stealing 25. Playing in the instructional league that September, Waggoner knocked two triples in a game.

It was Birmingham again for 1990, then Birmingham and AAA Vancouver in 1991. In an April 1990 game, Waggoner didn't have to run. He knocked a grand slam to help Birmingham to a win.

In April 1991, Waggoner won White Sox minor league player of the month honors, according to The Chicago Tribune. He hit .292, with two home runs, stealing six for Birmingham.

In May, after moving up to AAA Vancouver, Waggoner was part of what turned out to be a teachable moment. Waggoner was the Vancouver center fielder when teammate Rodney McCray ran through the Portland outfield wall going for a fly ball.

McCray later said he didn't realize the wall was near, later telling The South Florida Sun-Sentinel his center fielder Waggoner should have yelled a warning.

Waggoner moved to the Braves system for 1992, then the Mariners system for 1993. He continued playing into 1995. His career ultimately ended after playing in 11 total minor league seasons. He never made the majors.

Waggoner has since gone on to be an instructor, continuing into 2013. He is listed as as a batting instructor with Hitters Choice in California.
1990 CMC-Pro Cards Tally  
Players/Coaches Featured:1,156
Made the Majors: 671 - 58.1%
Never Made Majors: 485-41.9%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 290
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 174

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