For the second straight year, an alum from the stellar baseball program run for so many years by legendary head coach Spud O’Neill has a player in the World Series. California also once again tops the nation and world for having more World Series players than any other state or nation.
Note: We are going to update our e-book, California: The Baseball Capital of the World, in early 2015, but the one we did last year is still available. Check it out by CLICKING HERE.
ALSO BE SURE TO TAKE OUR 2014 WORLD SERIES TRIVIA CHALLENGE. To start the trivia quiz, CLICK HERE.
There is no school this year represented in the World Series like St. Francis of Mountain View was last year, which counted both Daniel Descalso of the St. Louis Cardinals and Daniel Nava of the Boston Red Sox as graduates.
But Lakewood comes close. One year after former Lancer Mike Carp played for the Red Sox, the school strikes again with infielder Matt Duffy of the San Francisco Giants, who will be with the Giants when they open the World Series on Tuesday at Kansas City to take on the Royals.
Duffy wasn’t even at the AAA level when the Giants called him up during the summer, but he was terrorizing the AA Eastern League for the Richmond (Va.) Flying Squirrels. He’s already made an impact for the Giants in the post-season as a pinch-hitter and pinch-runner.
The Giants had three other California players on their 25-man roster while the Royals had five after the two league championship series, but did not keep infielder Christian Colon (Canyon, Anaheim) on its 25-man roster for the World Series. Based on the final rosters that were announced before Game 1, here is the complete list:
San Francisco Giants
Brandon Crawford (Foothill, Pleasanton) Shortstop
Matt Duffy (Lakewood) Infield
Sergio Romo (Brawley) Pitcher
Andrew Susac (Jesuit, Carmichael) Catcher
Kansas City Royals
Danny Duffy (Cabrillo, Lompoc) Pitcher
Mike Moustakas (Chatsworth) Third Base
James Shields (Hart, Newhall) Pitcher
Jason Vargas (Apple Valley) Pitcher
Note: Christian Colon (Canyon, Anaheim) was replaced on the official Royals’ roster on Tuesday, Oct. 21 by Jayson Nix, also an infielder but who is not from California.
•Mike Moustakas, who has hit four post-season homers so far for the Royals, was the 2007 Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year and for good reason. He set the state record for career homers at 52 and still holds that record. Moustakas’ record was threatened last year by San Diego Rancho Bernardo’s Alex Jackson but he was only able to tie the San Diego Section record and the No. 2 mark on the all-time state list of 47 by former Rancho Bernardo standout John Drennen.
•Moustakas also is known for being a member of perhaps the greatest high school team in California history. He was a key contributor as a freshman when Chatsworth finished 35-0 and was the Cal-Hi Sports State Team of the Year. His freshman teammate on that Chatsworth team, Matt Dominguez, also was a leading candidate for Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year in 2007. Dominguez now starts at third base for the Houston Astros. The only other team really in the discussion about greatest team ever in state history is Fresno 1958, which lost its only game to a college freshman team and beat several other college freshmen teams. Fresno 1958 also had two future MLB 20-game winners as pitchers — Dick Ellsworth and Jim Maloney.
•California once again leads the way for this year’s World Series with eight players in the event. Other totals (based on the rosters after the NLCS and ALCS) are: Venezuela 7, Florida 5, Dominican Republic 5, Texas 4,Alabama 3, Washington 3, Georgia 3.
•If the Los Angeles Dodgers and not the Giants had made it to the World Series this year, Jesuit of Carmichael still would have been represented with pitcher J.P. Howell, who is from the same school as Giants’ rookie catcher Andrew Susac. The same is true in the American League for Hart of Newhall had the L.A. Angels made it and not the Royals. In addition to James Shields of the Royals, catcher Chris Ianetta of the Angels is from Hart.
•Kansas City manager Ned Yost also is from a California high school. He is from Dublin in the CIF North Coast Section. There have been many managers in the World Series from the Golden State, including Bobby Cox (Selma), Billy Martin (Berkeley) and Sparky Anderson (Los Angeles Dorsey), but the last one was Dusty Baker in 2002 for the Giants, which lost in that World Series to the Angels. Baker is from Del Campo of Fair Oaks.