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Sonny Gray’s Long Road to MLB Debut Start

August 12, 2013

I’ve often thought about just how many places players play in as a professional baseball player. I suppose the thought occurs to me whenever I play that stupid mode on MLB: The Show where you are the yourself and you get signed by an organization and work your way to the Majors. You go from podunk town to podunk town playing baseball. While in a career like Bartolo Colon‘s the places he has played in are numerous, look at just how many destinations a young guy like Sonny Gray has played in leading up to his first MLB start. In order (ignoring multiple appearances):

2011

  1. Surprise, AZ (Surprise Stadium)
  2. Midland, TX (Citibank Ballpark)
  3. Tulsa, OK (ONEOK Field)
  4. San Antonio, TX (Wolff Stadium)
  5. Frisco, TX (Dr Pepper Ballpark)

2012

  1. Phoenix, AZ (Phoenix Municipal Stadium)
  2. North Little Rock, AR (Dickey-Stephens Park)
  3. Corpus Christi, TX (Whataburger Field)
  4. Springfield, MO (Hammons Field)
  5. Springdale, AR (Arvest Ballpark)
  6. Salt Lake City, UT (Spring Mobile Ballpark)
  7. Reno, NV (Aces Ballpark)

2013

  1. Sacramento, CA (Raley Field)
  2. Las Vegas, NV (Cashman Field)
  3. Fresno, CA (Chukchansi Park)
  4. Nashville, TN (Greer Stadium)
  5. Tucson, AZ (Kino Stadium)
  6. Pittsburgh, PA (PNC Park)
  7. Anaheim, CA (Angel Stadium)
  8. Toronto, ON (Rogers Centre)

Gray hasn’t moved around. He is with the organization he started with. He started at a relatively high level too (one rookie league start prior to reporting to Double-A). Yet, his first MLB start (in his third MLB appearance) marked the 20th stadium he pitched in, excluding road trips where he didn’t pitch in an official game. Spring training MiLB games that aren’t recorded and lost to history and the like. Imagine what this must be like for everyday players, guys who’ve been traded meaning they see all the charms that both the Pacific Coast League and International League have to offer. Also, Gray has yet to even pitch in his home ballpark but has already thrown an “official pitch” in two countries, eleven states or provinces, and even more area codes. Kind of interesting.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. morningbriefs permalink
    August 14, 2013 12:52 pm

    I was able to watch Sonny Gray up close as an umpire while he pitched in High School in Smyrna, Tennessee. It is crazy how many different places a ballplayer can see before his dream of the big leagues come true.

    • August 15, 2013 6:47 pm

      That is great! Its nice to see that at least he managed to get a start out in Nashville so family and friends could see him.

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