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Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Jeff Garber used his work ethic to make AAA, later manage

Jeff Garber 1990 Baseball City Royals card

Speaking to Kansas City Royals farmhand Jeff Garber's hometown Chambersburg (Pa.) Public Opinion in June 1994, Royals team spokesman Muzzy Jackson was blunt.

Garber would have been let go previously but for one important thing: His work ethic.

"Yes, there were times when we almost released him, but because of his work ethic and dedication, we stayed with him," Jackson told The Public Opinion. "He's definitely gotten the most out of his ability."

Garber played that season, his seventh as a pro, between AA Memphis and AAA Omaha. He would see time in just one more campaign. His work ethic didn't get him to the bigs as a player. He then became a coach.

Garber's career began in 1988, taken by the Royals in the 10th round of the draft out of James Madison University in Virginia.

Garber started with the Royals at short-season Eugene. He hit .251 in 65 games. He then moved to single-A Appleton in 1989. He hit .263 there in 117 games.

In October 1989, Garber spoke to The Public Opinion about his progress, as he knew three second basemen were ahead of him in the organization. 

"I don't look at that," Garber told The Public Opinion. "I try not to out-think them (the Royals), I'll let them do all the moving, and just give my best. But I do feel I'm ready to move up."

He made high-A Baseball City in 1989, then Memphis and Omaha in 1991. He saw Memphis in 1992 and 1993. He hit .281 in 81 games in 1993.

He then played 1994 between Memphis and Omaha, then six final games with the Royals at Omaha in 1995 to end his career.

Garber then started his post-playing career. He turned manager with the Royals at short-season Spokane for 1997, then at high-A Wilmington for 1999.

Managing Wilmington in 2005, Garber spoke to The Valdosta Daily Times about his job.

"I'm at a level where I teach more. Kansas City cares less about our record," Garber told The Daily Times. "Getting them better in skills, getting them better for Double A ... If I do that, I'll get a job next year."

By 2009, he was with the Nationals at short-season Vermont. By 2021, he was Nationals field coordinator.

Jeff Garber 1990 Baseball City Royals card

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,289
Made the Majors:1,392-32.5%
Never Made Majors:2,897-67.5%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:567
10+ Seasons in the Minors:348

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