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Sunday, February 13, 2022

Pete Gonzalez believed he'd make bigs in five years; Saw eight pro seasons, made AAA

Pete Gonzalez made a bold prediction as he played for Miami Dade North College in April 1989 and prepared for that year's draft, according to The Miami Herald

Not only would he turn pro that June, but he had his own timetable for moving up, he told The Herald.

"In five years I'm going to be making a living in the major leagues," Gonzalez told The Herald. "I'm not going to stop until I get to the big leagues."

As it turned out, Gonzalez continued to play as his five-year timetable arrived - and he'd made it to the doorstep of the bigs at AAA. But, in a career that spanned eight campaigns, Gonzalez never did make the majors.

Gonzalez' career began that June, taken by the Dodgers in the 17th round of the draft out of Miami Dade North College.

Gonzalez started with the Dodgers in the rookie Gulf Coast League. The catcher saw 34 games and hit .245. He then moved to high-A Vero Beach for 1990 and 1991. He hit .217 both seasons there.

In May 1990, Gonzalez drew an eighth-inning, bases-loaded walk to push over the winning run to extend a Vero Beach winning streak, The Indian River Press Journal wrote.

"You take it any way you can," Gonzalez told The Press Journal afterward. "When a team's winning, everything falls into place."

Gonzalez moved to the Tigers for 1992. He saw 42 games at single-A Fayetteville, 32 at high-A Lakeland - and nine at AAA Toledo. He hit .245 overall.

He then played 1994 at Lakeland and at AA London, then saw 60 games at Toledo in 1994, the year he hoped to be in the bigs. He hit .272 in those 60 games at Toledo.

He saw an abbreviated six games at Toledo in 1995, then signed on with the Rockies at AAA Colorado Springs and AA New Haven. He hit .181 over 78 games that year to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,841
Made the Majors:1,291-33.6%
Never Made Majors:2,550-66.4%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:528
10+ Seasons in the Minors:322

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