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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Kelly Ahrens played two seasons, then chose family

Kelly Ahrens 1990 Bend Bucks card

Kelly Ahrens put in two seasons in the minors. In the end, though, he turned to his family, he told The Bend Bulletin in 1992.

He also moved on from professional baseball.

"It was a family decision, really," Ahrens told The Bulletin two years after his final season. "I couldn't afford to play ball and keep my family at home. I didn't feel anything was worth being away from my family."

Ahrens played at Bend in 1990, the year his family expanded by one as he became the father of a boy. That season was his second as a pro, and also his last.

Ahrens' career began in 1989, taken by the Giants in the 20th round of the draft out of Newberry College in South Carolina.

He played his first season at rookie Pocatello. In 34 games, the catcher hit .224, with four home runs and 19 RBI.

He then moved to single-A Clinton to start 1990. He got into 21 games there and hit just .178. The rest of his season was spent at short-season Bend.

At Bend, Ahrens got into 43 games, hitting .231, with six home runs. He hit one of those home runs in an August game, just after returning from a trip home for the birth of his son. In July, the catcher threw out a runner in a win.

Before the birth of his son, Ahrens told The Bulletin about being away from home and his wife as an expecting father.

"I try not to think about it," Ahrens told The Bulletin, "but it's getting harder. I'm getting a little more nervous."

That was his final season as a pro. His playing career over, Ahrens returned home to South Carolina and went into the financial services industry. He's also stayed involved in baseball, founding Stars and Stripes Sports.
Originally published Jan. 20, 2015
Kelly Ahrens 1990 Bend Bucks card
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,861
Made the Majors:1,071-37.4%
Never Made Majors:1,790-62.6%
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 444
10+ Seasons in the Minors:267

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