Ever wonder what happened to your favorite, least favorite Chicago White Sox players? One facet of the research that goes into preparing each of these columns is to pour over countless press releases and news stories from the 40 teams that make up the most established Independent leagues to sort through the most meaningful information to use. For example, it is fascinating to study the background of many of the players coming onto Independent rosters because there are so many diverse stories.
Lancaster, PA (Atlantic League) has signed veteran outfielder Jerry Owens, a speedster who stole 32 bases in one of his four seasons with the Chicago White Sox and played football for two years at UCLA before switching fulltime to baseball. Then just today (Thursday) St. Paul, MN announced it is bringing back infielder Craig Brazell, who has had a couple of limited major league opportunities but pounded 47 home runs and drove in 117 runs in ’10, the best of five years in Japan’s top league. Brazell hit .581 (18-for-31) with four dingers and 12 batted in during a seven-game stint with the Saints in ’09 to earn American Association Player of the Week laurels before his contract was sold to the Hanshin Tigers. He pounded 118 homers overall in Japan, and has 284 for his professional career.
(This is an excerpt from the column Bob Wirz writes year round on Independent Baseball. Forty columns are planned during 2013. Fans may subscribe at WirzandAssociates.com, enjoy the blog, IndyBaseballChatter.com, which has supplemental stories, 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.)