November 12, 2019

Who Will Be Next to Majors? Lindsey Stays Hot, Weber Warming Up

May 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Michael Ryan had not been in the majors since 2005 until joining the Angels last weekend, and Cuban-born Raul Valdez had never been there until the New York Mets added the onetime Can-Am Leaguer (New Jersey Jackals and Nashua, NH) a few weeks ago.  And, it is anyone’s guess on where lightning will strike next, but John Lindsey and Jon Weber continue to keep their hats in the ring from one notch below the majors.

Lindsey, a two-time member of the Jackals in Little Falls, NJ, continues to lead the Pacific Coast League in average (.411), hits (44) and doubles (13) for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Albuquerque farm club, even though he is without a single game in the majors in his 16th professional season.

“I’ll tell you this much, the guy can hit,” praised rival Memphis Manager Chris Maloney to The Jackson (MS) Clarion Ledger. “And you won’t find a better, more likeable person in baseball.  I’d love to see him get his shot (at the majors).”  For his part, Lindsey, 33, told the newspaper “I have learned to stop focusing my energy on things I cannot control.”  He tells people “I just feel blessed to still be playing this game I love.”

Weber, who was the top hitter in the New York Yankees’ spring training camp in March when he flirted with a .500 average, has started putting up numbers at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, PA after a slow first month.  Another Independent standout who has not been in any regular season major league games, the lefty-hitting outfielder has hit .317 (13-for-41) his last 10 games to get his average up to .230.

Tom Cochran and Corey Smith also have the flame burning from Class AA, including last week’s Pitcher and Player of the Week honors, respectively, in the Southern League.

Valdez was in the news this week, too, when he got his first major league victory.  It came Tuesday against Washington when a scoreless outing lowered his ERA to 2.69 for 17.1 innings in which he has struck out 19.

Much to Watch for in Golden League

While the Golden League, which opens in another week along with the Northern and Frontier, seems to be pulling out all stops to draw attention to its Teen Queen, Japanese knuck-ball pitcher Eri Yoshida, two other facets of its sixth season bear considerable attention.

We will be watching to see how well the league draws in two new markets, the border town of Tijuana, Mexico, and Na Ikaika Koa Maui, the Hawaiian Island where baseball probably has been well down the list of entertainment options.

The other aspect is what seems to be even greater than usual attention on players with major league time, the latest including side-arming Byung-Hyun Kim to Orange County (Fullerton, CA), Korean Cha-Seung Baek and Bill Pulsipher (player-coach) to Yuma, AZ and Matt Perisho at Chico, CA, where he will be a teammate of Ms. Yoshida.

The 18-year-old Yoshida, a recent high school graduate, has brought considerable attention to the Golden League, including requests for her to appear on the ‘CBS Evening News with Katie Couric’ and on the late night ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live’.

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‘Holy Cow’, a Third Generation

The Boone Family is the first that comes to mind when I think about three generations involved in professional baseball.  Of course, all of them played.

By loosening the parameters a little, Independent Baseball has two third generation stories.  A younger grandson of broadcasting legend Harry Caray, Josh Caray, will be sharing the broadcast booth of the San Angelo (TX) Colts in the United League.  Older brother Chip still broadcasts for Atlanta, where Dad Skip was a fixture for a long time.  Grandad’s colorful career had two main stops, St. Louis and the Chicago Cubs, the latter the best identifier for younger generations today.

In the same league, the grandson of major league infielder Bobby Wine will be trying to work his way up the ladder as an infielder with the Amarillo (TX) Dillas.  Cory Wine came out of Penn State and had one season in the Philadelphia chain, where Grandpa was a fine shortstop in the 1960s.  Robbie Wine had a brief major league career as a catcher for Houston in the ‘80s. Bobby Wine still scouts for Atlanta.

(This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes on Independent Baseball.  Fans may subscribe at www.WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy his blogs, www.AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com and www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, or comment to RWirz@aol.com.  The author has 16 years of major league baseball public relations experience with Kansas City and as spokesman for two Commissioners and lives in Stratford, CT.)

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