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redsmetz
07-21-2007, 12:05 AM
I was talking to the friend of mine who played in the Reds minor league system in the mid to late 50's at my son's graduation party. He had loaned me the scrap book his mother made up of his days pitching for Norwood High School, at UC (where his senior he roomed with freshman Sandy Koufax on their southern road trip), his year with the Sunbury (PA) Redlegs, his years playing ball in the Army in German (where he hurt his arm) and finally with the Albuquerque club, circa 1957.

Don was saying that at Sunbury's level (Class B), not everyone on the club was under contract with the Reds. Some players would just come in the spring to one city or another and would try to catch on with one of the minor league clubs. Ultimately they hoped to be noticed by the big league club and make it to the majors. He said they had a catcher that year who was that sort of player.

He also talked about how Dave Bristol was a team mate and how even then he would help out the manager writing out the reports that he sent to Cincinnati about the players. He told him that the manager wrote that Don had a major league arm but a minor league head.

After his pro career ended, he played on the Glendale Ohio amateur team that won the AAU National Championship in about 1958. The scrapbook shows a final story from the Cincinnati Post about Don and another "old guy" who were still playing fastball in their 40's.

I first learned he had played in the minors when at a church picnic he hit the snot out of the ball, putting it in the woods. His wife was standing there and said something like "Oh yeah, Don played in the minors". Well dang!

camisadelgolf
07-21-2007, 09:21 AM
I'd be very curious to know what percentage of the population played minor league baseball. It seems like every year I become shocked to learn about someone I've known for years had played professional baseball. They always have great stories. Thank you for sharing, redsmetz.

redsmetz
07-21-2007, 03:45 PM
I'd be very curious to know what percentage of the population played minor league baseball. It seems like every year I become shocked to learn about someone I've known for years had played professional baseball. They always have great stories. Thank you for sharing, redsmetz.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of about six folks I know who played in the minors. I dated a girl whose father played, knew a guy from church whose dad played. The guy across the hall from my office played (and went to minor league camp in Laredo, TX along with my friend in the original post). A friend of my wife's brother played and a guy I knew from Xavier did too.

Chi-Town Red
07-21-2007, 08:01 PM
I have known about 5 throughout my life that played