JUCO World Series: Baseball Greats Who Played In Grand Junction
There are many reasons why the JUCO World Series in Grand Junction draws thousands of fans through the gates each year. It's baseball - America's favorite past times. Did you know that some of the MLB's greatest players competed in Grand Junction?
The JUCO World Series brings the very best Junior College teams in the country to compete for a national championship and a number of these JUCO players have gone on to have stellar careers in Major League Baseball.
Of course, Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals is the most recent notable to play at Suplizio Field. He played for College of Southern Nevada in the 2010 JUCO tournament. An all-star and Rookie of the Year in 2012, many analysts have already made Harper a candidate for this year's National League MVP.
But there have been several other baseball players who played in the Junior College World Series and went on to enjoy successful careers in Major League Baseball. Here is a look at some of the notables.
Kirby Puckett - Outfielder - Triton College - 1982
Puckett played 12 seasons with the Minnesota Twins, 10 of which he was named to the all-star team. Puckett was a six time gold-glove winner, ALCS Most Valuable Player, and elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1991.
Curt Schilling - Pitcher - Yavapai Junior College - 1986
Schillng played 19 seasons in the majors with Baltimore, Houston, Philadelphia, Arizona and Boston winning three World Series championships, World Series MVP in 2001, six-time all-star, and NLCS Most Valuable Player in 1993.
Donnie Moore -Pitcher - Ranger Junior College, 1973
In a 13-season career, Moore posted a 43–40 record with 89 saves, 416strikeouts, and a 3.67 ERA in 655 innings. Moore also had a potent bat that got him a .281 average with 11 RBIs. He was selected as an All-Star in 1985 after developing a splitter with a slider and a breaking ball. He played for the Cubs, Cardinals, Brewers, Braves, and Angels.
Frank Rodriguez -Pitcher Howard Junior College, 1973
Rodriguez led Howard Junior College to the JUCO World Series Championship in 1991. Played professionally for the Red Sox, Twins, Mariners, and Reds between 1995 and 2001.
Chris Hanks - Catcher - Southern Idaho - 1988
Hanks was named the tournament MVP in 1988 and went on to play 4 years in the Boston Red Sox organization, and one year with Detroit before an arm injury ended his career. Hanks has been Head Coach of the Colorado Mesa University Mavericks baseball team since 1999 compiling 600 wins in 15 seasons.