Jeff Nettles Adds to Family Home Run Lore
Although he already has about eight and a half major league seasons, Esteban Yan would like more.Â â€œI hope to get another opportunityâ€, the 35-year-old said.Â â€œI know Iâ€™ve got a lot left.â€
I did not discuss future major league hopes with Willis Otanez, but the Long Island first baseman-DH would not mind seeing his son get a chance some day.Â The proud dad says 17-year-old lefty Winston Otanez is throwing at about 86 miles per hour now and has a couple of scouts looking at him, but â€œhe has one class to graduate, and must get that done first.â€
The Nettles Family Home Run Story
Another father-son team has already proven itself, even if Jeff Nettles has had to settle for his feats coming in the minor leagues.Â The 32-year-old son of former major league star Graig Nettles has been on fire as part of Somersetâ€™s 22-5 run since August 10 that has the Patriotsâ€™ magic number down to nine to nail down their fourth consecutive playoff berth.Â Somerset leads Freedom Division rival Lancaster by 4.5 games with 11 to play.Â The Barnstormers trail by three in the loss column, and have 14 games remaining.
Nettles hit four home runs in as many at-bats against the two first-half champions the last two days, connecting three times against Southern Maryland Sunday and in his first trip against York Monday.Â The Labor Day contest turned out to be a five-RBI game for Nettles in a 7-3 victory before a full house at home.
Graig Nettles hit four home runs in a doubleheader for the New York Yankees April 14, 1974, and hit 390 during his major league career.Â Currently ranked ninth on the Bombersâ€™ all-time list (250), he was sixth when he left New York, trailing some fairly good namesâ€”Ruth, Mantle, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Berra.
Seven Players Within 3 of Home Run Lead
The best individual race in the Atlantic League is for home run honors.Â Reggie Taylor has moved into a tie with his departed Lancaster teammate Jason Perry, who has returned to school at Georgia Tech, with 22 apiece, but Josh Pressley of Somerset and Bridgeportâ€™s Steve Moss have 21, Eric Crozier of Southern Maryland and Bryant Nelson of Lancaster have 20 and the Barnstormersâ€™ Aaron Herr has 19.
(Subscriptions to the Atlantic League Notebook are available on a monthly or full season basis via www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com or www.WirzandAssociates.com.Â Bob Wirz also writes a weekly subscription column, the Independent Baseball Insider, which can be found via his blog, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com. The author has 16 years of major league baseball PR experience with Kansas City and as chief spokesman for two Commissioners, and lives in Stratford, CT.)