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Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Joe Norris never made the majors himself, but saw a player he coached - Jordan Montgomery - get there

Joe Norris appeared on the cusp in March 2017 of seeing one of his players get to a place he never got to himself, the majors, according to The New York Post.

Norris, a veteran of nine professional seasons, served then as pitching coach at Sumter High in South Carolina. His former player, Jordan Montgomery, was about to become a Yankee.

"I pitched a long time in the minors, just not well enough," Norris told The Post. "To see Jordan move up has been fun to watch."

Norris spent his own time as a pro largely in the Expos, Twins and Marlins systems. He made AAA over parts of three seasons. He never made the bigs.

Norris' career began in 1989, taken by the Expos in the 26th round of the draft out of Bakersfield Junior College. Norris' name was misspelled on his Jamestown card as Joe Morris.

He started with the Expos in 1990, with Jamestown. He went 3-7, with a 5.20 ERA. He moved to single-A Sumter for 1991. He only saw eight starts there, but he would later return.

Norris played at single-A Rockford in 1992, then high-A West Palm Beach in 1993. He went five innings in a June 1993 game and struck out eight for the win. Overall that year, he went 7-4, with a 2.67 ERA.

He moved to the Twins system for 1994, where he played at AA Nashville, then AA Hardware City in 1995. He went 5-6 in 46 relief outings that year, 3.59 ERA.

In 1996, he got his first look at AAA, with Salt Lake. He saw 21 relief outings and ended with a 5.79 ERA.

He saw nine more outings at AAA in 1997 with the Marlins at Charlotte, then four outings at AAA with the Reds in 1998. He also played in 1998 at AA El Paso with the Brewers and at independent Allentown to end his career.

His career over, Norris soon found himself returning to Sumter, where he played in 1991 and he became a teacher and a coach at Sumter High.

In 2013, Norris' club won the district championship with the help of the team ace Charlie Barnes, according to The Hilton Head Island Packet.

"He's not afraid of the moment," Norris told The Island Packet afterward. "... He's our best guy. If we're going to go home, we're going to go home with our best guy on the mound."
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured:3,183
Made the Majors:1,157-36.4%
Never Made Majors:2,026-63.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 480
10+ Seasons in the Minors:283

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