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Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Doyle Balthazar played 9 seasons as catcher, helped pitchers

Dan Balthazar 1990 Lakeland Tigers card

In his eighth pro season, Doyle Balthazar found himself at high-A San Bernardino. The catcher started well, hitting .333 by early May, The San Bernardino County Sun wrote.

But he also had benefit elsewhere, his manager told The Sun.

"He's really helping out with the young pitchers," manager Ivan DeJesus told The Sun.

That year marked his last regularly behind the plate in the pros - he briefly played in one more. But he later appears to gone on to help out in another sport, as a coach in an upstart basketball league, JBA USA.

Balthazar's baseball career began in 1985, taken by the Tigers in the 14th round of the draft out of Los Angeles High School.

He started with the Tigers at rookie Bristol. He got into 16 games and hit .275. He returned to Bristol for 1986, then saw single-A Charleston and single-A Lakeland for 1987. He hit .216 in 51 games that year.

He returned to Lakeland for all of 1988. He hit a two-RBI walk-off single in an August game and .244 overall.

Balthazar made AA London for 1989, getting  into 62 games, then split 1990 between London and high-A Lakeland. He then saw all of 1991 back at London, getting three hits in an August contest.

He arrived at San Bernardino and the Mariners system for 1992. By early May, the team had gotten off to an 8-15 record. Balthazar talked up his teammates to The Sun.

"We've been battling to score runs," Balthazar told The Sun. "It's tough to lose like this when we've been playing as hard as we can. But I believe we will start picking each other up."

Balthazar played five more games at independent Champaign-Urbana in 1994 to end his career.

Balthazar later appears to have coached some basketball in 2018, with the Junior Basketball Association's Los Angeles Ballers, called in by his cousin LaVar Ball.

Dan Balthazar 1990 Lakeland Tigers card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,724
Made the Majors:1,262-33.9%
Never Made Majors:2,462-66.1%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:522
10+ Seasons in the Minors:309

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