Adding pitcher Scott Alexander, a graduate of Santa Rosa’s Cardinal Newman High, gives the Los Angeles Dodgers six players on their World Series roster who are from California high schools. That’s good because the American League champion Boston Red Sox only have one. The state’s total of seven is lower than usual, but once again leads any other state or nation for having the most players in the World Series. If you’re counting (and we are), that’s nine years out of the last 10 that California can make that claim.
RELATED: See last year’s World Series alums for more details on L.A. Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts’ high school accomplishments as an option quarterback in football.
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With Major League Baseball getting to be more international every year, we may be getting close to a year when there’s a team in the World Series with not one player from a California high school on the roster. That almost happened this year with the Boston Red Sox, but not quite.
The Red Sox have players from Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Aruba and the Dominican Republic, but they still have pitcher Joe Kelly, a graduate of Corona High in the Inland Empire. Kelly is only active member of Boston’s 25-man roster from California. The total of only one matches the all-time low of one for the 2006 Detroit Tigers, who only had pitcher Joel Zumaya from Bonita Vista of Chula Vista.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who are in the World Series for the second straight season after losing in seven games to the Houston Astros last fall, have players from Korea, Mexico, Curacao, Japan, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. Despite that, they also have a higher total (for one World Series team) of six California players on the roster.
With the Red Sox and Dodgers combined, California’s total of seven this year matches the same total from last year. The lowest total since we began tracking this number in 1990 is six, which from the 2016 World Series. Texas is second this year with five players on the two World Series rosters.
California had a streak of leading the nation or tied for first from 2009 to 2015 so now it is nine times in the last 10 years. The highest California total ever for World Series alums is 15 for the 2002 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and Anaheim Angels. The state also was in double-digits recently with 10 in 2012, 11 in 2011 and 10 in 2010.
Here is a look at the seven players in this year’s World Series:
P Scott Alexander (Cardinal Newman, Santa Rosa) Dodgers
The last Cardinal Newman grad in the World Series was Yankees’ closer John Wetteland, who was an important player in them winning it all that season. The Dodgers also had a Redwood Empire product last season with pitcher Brandon Morrow (Rancho Cotate), who is now with the Chicago Cubs.
C Austin Barnes (Poly, Riverside) Dodgers
He was on the same high school team as the Houston Astros’ Jake Marisnick, but Marisnick was injured last year so we couldn’t say that Riverside Poly had two in the same World Series.
P Dylan Floro (Buhach Colony, Atwater) Dodgers
A former Cal-Hi Sports All-State selection, Floro went 33-5 in his years with the Thunder and is the first from his school to be in either a Super Bowl, World Series or NBA Final.
P Joe Kelly (Corona) Red Sox
His career started blossoming at UC Riverside where he had a 1.32 ERA in 22 relief appearances as a freshman in 2007. At Corona, he was an all-league outfielder.
P Ryan Madson (Valley View, Moreno Valley) Dodgers
He was with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008 when they won the World Series. That also was the last time there was a Californian who was MVP, which was pitcher Cole Hamels (San Diego Rancho Bernardo).
OF Joc Pederson (Palo Alto) Dodgers
He was one of the Dodgers’ most productive players in last year’s World Series. He’s from the same high school as football’s Jim Harbaugh and Davante Adams and basketball’s Jeremy Lin.
3B Justin Turner (Mayfair, Lakewood) Dodgers
No, he’s not from the same school as the NBA’s James Harden, who is from Artesia of Lakewood. The two do have two of the most famous beards in pro sports. Without Turner early in the season when he was out with an injury, the Dodgers were only 16-26. With him, they’re clearly one of the best teams in baseball.
Note: The camera often shows infielder Chase Utley in the Dodgers’ dugout, but the Long Beach Poly grad is not on this year’s postseason roster. He did play in the last year’s World Series and will be retiring after the series.