Augusta baseball legacy at 25 impressive

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There have been 174 instances where a future major leaguer donned an Augusta Pirates or GreenJackets jersey since 1988.

It is a product of a 25-year history of baseball in Augusta, and three franchises that have produced impressive players from its farm systems.

The 25th anniversary team was voted on by fans and is a way to show just how much talent has passed through Augusta.

• The Pirates produced Jason Kendall, Tim Wakefield and Moises Alou.

• Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, Hanley Ramirez and Jon Lester made stops in Augusta before playing for the Red Sox.

• And most recently, Pablo Sandoval, Madison Bumgarner, Brian Wilson and Sergio Romo saw time in Augusta.

It’s an impressive track record for one city to have had this many high-caliber players.

Among the top 25 are 11 world champions, one MVP and 15 All-Stars, as well as various Gold Glove winners, Silver Sluggers and playoff awards.

While most positions were won in a landslide, the voting was tight in a few cases. Brandon Moss beat Lew Ford by one in center field, and Jose Guillen beat Orlando Merced by one in right field.

The first four rotation spots were locks, but Zack Wheeler beat Jonathan Sanchez by two for the fifth. The final bullpen spot was a toss-up before Justin Duchscherer beat Waldis Joaquin.

This list shows the select talent to come through Augusta while also displaying the knowledge of baseball fans in the area. Remembering older players when they weren’t so old on minor league teams is unique to baseball and should be cherished.


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