Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The All-Time Bluefield to the Bigs Team

In March I joined the Bluefield Blue Jays as their Director of Broadcasting and Media Relations. Playing their games at historic Bowen Field in Bluefield, West Virginia, they're the Rookie-level farm club for the Toronto Blue Jays in the Appalachian League.

A short-season team that begins play in June, they play a 68-game season and feature many players that were just drafted and getting their first professional experience. I will be calling the play-by-play for all 34 road games and six home games. For the other 28 home dates I'll be the public address announcer at historic Bowen Field. I'm so pumped to get started and get back behind the mic!

Bluefield was the home of the Baltimore Orioles' rookie-level team from 1958-2010. It was the longest-running parent club/farm club relationship in the minor leagues, but it abruptly ended after 53 seasons. The Blue Jays came to town in 2011, fortunately preserving the "Baby Birds" nickname and bringing playoff baseball back to Bowen Field for the first time since 2002. In the divisional round they beat the Elizabethton Twins (who have been in the Appy League playoffs seven straight years) before falling in the Championship Series to the Johnson City Cardinals.

In preparing for the job, I've been staying up very late over the past couple of weeks putting together the team media guide.

One of the first things I made for it is this PDF which is also available under the Alumni tab on the Bluefield website:

From Bluefield to the Bigs

It's a solid group and I'm sure you recognize a bunch of those names. I've put together an all-time team out of the 175 men on that list and will write a post about each player. I've already got one entry in the hopper so that one will be up shortly.

25-man roster: 12 pitchers, two catchers, six infielders and five outfielders.

The average career Baseball-Reference Wins Above Replacement for the 13 position players was 29.8, a total boosted by the especially stellar infield. For comparison, players within one win of that career total include Darin Erstad, Brian Jordan, Rico Carty, Al Rosen, Ted Kluszewski, Bobby Murcer and Mickey Rivers,

The pitching is a bit weaker, as the average bWAR for the 12-man staff is nearly half that, but still good at 16.3. Pitchers within one win of 16.3 on their careers include Troy Percival, Ron Darling, Mike Caldwell, Shane Reynolds, Dick Radatz, Mudcat Grant.

Stay tuned for the unveiling of the All-Time Bluefield-to-the-Bigs Team!

Bluefield Roster

Joe Altobelli

SP 1 Dean Chance
SP 2 Mike Boddicker
SP 3 Bill Monbouquette
SP 4 Pete Harnisch
SP 5 Storm Davis
RP Tom Phoebus
RP Ken McBride
RP Sammy Stewart
RP Jim Johnson
Setup Arthur Rhodes
Setup Armando Benitez
Closer Sparky Lyle

C Gregg Zaun
C Johnny Gooch

1B Eddie Murray
2B Bobby Grich
SS Cal Ripken
3B Doug DeCinces
IF Boog Powell
IF Mark Belanger

LF Don Baylor
CF Luis Matos
RF Bob Bailor
OF David Dellucci
OF John Shelby

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