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Monday, August 8, 2022

Chris Pinder missed bigs himself, but a son has made it

Chris Pinder 1990 Kinston Indians card

Midway through his first season as a pro in 1987, Chris Pinder spoke to his hometown Newport News Daily Press about his experiences - and his aspirations. 

His experiences involved life in rookie ball and in low-A, used mostly as a reliever. His aspirations were far bigger.

"I want to play in the majors and I'll do anything to get there - pitching relief or being a starter," Pinder told The Daily News.

Pinder wouldn't ultimately get to the majors himself. He played four seasons and topped out at AA.

But at least one of his baseball-playing sons - Chad Pinder - would get there over seven seasons and counting.

Chris Pinder's career began in 1987, taken by the Orioles in the 15th round of the draft out of Virginia Commonwealth University.

Pinder started with the Orioles at rookie Bluefield and short-season Newark. He went 2-2, with a 4.22 ERA over 17 outings, two starts.

He made single-A Hagerstown for 1988 and went 5-7 over 55 outings, one start. He saved eight and ended with a 2.77 ERA. 

Pinder then made Hagerstown at AA in 1989, but his season proved brief, nine outings. He went 2-4, with a 3.31 ERA. 

Pinder joined the Indians at high-A Kinston for 1990. He went 7-4 over 29 outings, 13 starts, with a 3.29 ERA. He went seven innings on three days rest in the Carolina League title series that September and gave up three runs in the win over Frederick. That season, however, proved to be his last as a pro.

Eleven years after that Frederick win, in June 2001, Pinder returned to Frederick with one of his sons, then-10-year-old Clark, as Clark's team won a youth tournament title, The Daily Press wrote.

"It gave me chills," Chris Pinder told The Daily News then. "I remember the game I pitched there, and I shared that memory with Clark. It was almost unbelievable to watch him competing on such a high level in the same stadium. It was an incredible experience, like it was meant to be."

Clark Pinder doesn't appear to have reached the pros, but two of his brothers, Chase Pinder and Chad Pinder have. 

Chase Pinder turned pro in 2017 and continued in 2022 with the Cardinals at AA Springfield. Chad Pinder started as a second-round pick in 2013, and reached the majors in 2016. He continues with the Athletics in 2022.

Upon Chad Pinder's call-up, Chris Pinder got the opportunity to meet his son at the airport and drive him to the ballpark, The Chicago Tribune wrote.

"I'm excited but not too emotional," the elder Pinder told The Tribune, "because I feel like I've known since he was a little kid that he belongs there."

Chris Pinder 1990 Kinston Indians card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,999
Made the Majors:1,330-33.3%
Never Made Majors:2,669-66.7%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:544
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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