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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Mark Randall's first love was hockey, but he played better baseball; Played in U.S., Canada and Europe

Mark Randall grew up in Canada, born in Hamilton. So, naturally, he loved hockey, but he loved baseball, too, he told The Allentown Morning Call in 1998.

But it was baseball he pursued.

"My first love is hockey, and I guess every Canadian wants to play hockey in the Olympics," Randall told The Morning Call that April. "But there came a point in my life where I had to decide between the two, and I was a little better at baseball."

Randall spoke to The Morning Call as a member of the independent Allentown Ambassadors. He also spoke as a representative of Canada in his chosen sport, vying for that summer's World Championship tournament.

Randall's pro career eventually took him to eight seasons - and even to Europe. His affiliated career saw him top out at high-A.

Randall's career began in 1989, taken by the Phillies in the 23rd round of the draft out of Saddleback College in California.

Randall started with the Phillies at rookie Martinsville.  He went 2-2 over 27 relief outings, with a 2.51 ERA. He picked up one of his relief wins in a July game.

Randall moved to high-A Clearwater and single-A Spartanburg for 1990, then Spartanburg for all of 1991. He went 4-7, with a 3.65 ERA over 43 relief outings in 1991.

He played 1992 again between Clearwater and Spartanburg, then ended his Phillies career in 1993 at Clearwater.

Randall isn't credited as playing in the U.S. again until 1997, when he signed with Allentown. But in between, he played in Europe, winning a title in Sweden.

He saw two seasons at Allentown, turning in a 1.77 ERA over 26 relief appearances there. He then is credited with six outings at independent Edmonton in 2006 and later coached there.

In 2016, he headed the baseball program at the Vimy Ridge Academy in Edmonton and helped start the University of Alberta's first team.

"If a player is good enough, (scouts) are going to find them regardless of where they play," Randall told The Gateway Online that year.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,759
Made the Majors:1,272-33.8%
Never Made Majors:2,487-66.2%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:524
10+ Seasons in the Minors:312

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