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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Mike Lehman hoped slot would open at AAA, made it, but briefly; Saw six seasons, missed bigs

Looking ahead to the final 1992 team assignments, Orioles minor leaguer and catcher Mike Lehman rooted for a fellow player to make the bigs, he told The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.

But it wasn't all for the the other player, Jeff Tackett's benefit, he told The Democrat and Chronicle.

"I'm pulling for Tackett to make the big-league team," Lehman told The Democrat and Chronicle. "That will better my chances to go to (AAA) Rochester and play."

Lehman did make Rochester that year, but briefly, for eight games. In six seasons, he never made the majors himself.

Lehman's career began in 1986, taken by the Orioles in the third round of the draft out of Vallivue High School in Idaho.

Lehman started with the Orioles at rookie Bluefield. He hit .214 in 28 games. He then played 1987 at short-season Newark. He saw 40 games and hit .237.

After not being credited as playing in 1988, Lehman returned in 1989 at single-A Frederick. He hit .241 in 71 games. He then played at Frederick at high-A in 1990 and saw 105 games and a .260 average.

After injuries, Lehman even got to play some at third base in 1990. "I was excited; every catcher dreams of going into the infield," Lehman told The Baltimore Evening Sun that July.

That August, he knocked in three runs on a home run and a single in a Frederick win, The Durham Sun wrote.

"We've been playing good ball lately, and we knew this was a big series," Lehman told The Durham Sun then.

Lehman made AA Hagerstown for 1991. He saw 97 games and hit .281. Then came 1992. He saw those eight games at Rochester and 14 more at Hagerstown to end his career.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,119
Made the Majors:1,364-33.1%
Never Made Majors:2,755-66.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:556
10+ Seasons in the Minors:336

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