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Sunday, July 24, 2022

Steve Graham went from Ithaca to the pros, like his dad; Saw three seasons, made high-A

Steve Graham was undoubtedly happy about getting drafted in June 1988, but his hometown Ithaca Journal couldn't reach him. They could, however, reach his dad, Bob Graham.

The elder Graham not only referenced his son's work at the local Ithaca College, but the similarities to his own story, according to The Journal.

"It's been kind of a thrill, watching him develop as a ballplayer, attending the same college I went to and now going into pro ball like I did," Bob Graham told The Journal. "He has remarkable athletic ability."

The elder Graham played five seasons in the Cubs system, topping out at AA. The younger Graham ended up playing three seasons. He topped out at high-A.

Steve Graham's career began that year in 1988, taken by the Cardinals in the 33rd round of the draft out of Ithaca College.

At Ithaca, Graham went 21 for 46 over three years in 13 tournament games, with six home runs. He hit .319 in the regular season, The Journal wrote.

"I don't know, I guess it's just the excitement, the close games, the competition," Graham told The Journal of his tournament success. "I just bear down and try to do things for the team, try to contribute."

Graham started with the Cardinals at short-season Hamilton. He hit .227 in 61 games. That July, The Journal did catch up with him. He was excited to be there, but he also knew he had work to do.

"I have to work on my upper arm strength so I can swing the bat quicker," Graham told The Journal. "And with aluminum bats, you could hit the ball on the handle and get a base hit. Now, the bat just cracks, so you have to have quick hands."

Graham returned to Hamilton for 1989 and briefly saw single-A St. Petersburg. He hit .279 in 66 games. He then played 1990 at St. Petersburg, then at high-A. He hit .257 in 80 games then got released, ending his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,973
Made the Majors:1,324-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,649-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:541
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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