This year’s fall classic between the Houston Astros and Philadelphia Phillies has a definite Sacramento area feel to it as the manager of the Astros and one of the leading players for the Phillies hails from the city. In all, however, it’s a rather low total of California players with just four for the Phillies and two for the Astros.
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Longtime MLB manager Dusty Baker is one of the most beloved sports figures from the Sacramento area. The graduate of Del Campo High (Fair Oaks) still lives there and was a charter member of the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame.
Baker’s quest to win his first World Series title as manager of the Houston Astros after previous attempts have fallen short in managerial stints with the Giants, Cubs, Reds and Nationals will be one of the major storylines of this year’s World Series, which is beginning on Friday in Houston and will continue next week in Philadelphia.
The best position player in this year’s World Series from a California high school – first baseman Rhys Hoskins of the Phillies – also is from the Sacramento area. Hoskins, who hit 30 homers this season, hails from Jesuit High of Carmichael. Dusty Baker has a fondness for Jesuit, too, since his son Darren was an all-state player for the Marauders in 2017. Darren played this last season at the Single A and Double AA minor league level.
Despite those two Sacramento connections, this year’s World Series doesn’t have too many others from the Golden State. It’s not a record low, but the total of four from the Phillies and two for the Astros is one of the lowest combined totals in the 54 years in which we have done research on World Series alums.
There has been additional reporting leading into the World Series that this year marks the first time ever that there is not a U.S. born black player on either team. Part of the reason for that is the decline of black players coming out of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Another reason is the success of black players from Latin America. More than half of the Houston roster is from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Mexico.
Here’s a complete list of this year’s World Series Alums:
Andrew Bellatti (Steele Canyon, Spring Valley)
It must have been a little strange for some San Diego Padres’ fans when Bullatti came in to pitch for the Phillies in the NLCS since he’s from a San Diego area school. He’s had to overcome a difficult situation from 2010 only one year out of high school when was the driver of a car that went over a double-yellow line and crashed into another car, killing the other driver. Bellatti served time in jail for the tragedy since he was found to be speeding.
Connor Brogdon (Liberty, Madera Ranchos) Phillies
He was selected all-state small schools by Cal-Hi Sports in 2013 as a pitcher. He only went 6-4, but had a 1.77 ERA for the Hawks and struck out 89 batters in 67 ⅓ innings. His path to the majors began at Fresno City College, then NAIA member Lewis & Clark. Brogdon then spent several years in the minor leagues before getting his shot.
Mauricio Dubon (Capital Christian, Sacramento) Astros
A utility player who could play infield and outfield positions, Dubon has already been traded several times in his career. He came to Houston early in the 2022 season from the Giants. Dubon is originally from Honduras and came to Capital Christian as a 15-year-old to further develop his baseball skills.
David Hensley (Patrick Henry, San Diego) Astros
He made his MLB debut in September and now Hensley is getting ready to appear in the World Series. Hensley played in college at San Diego State. In 80 high games, he had a .320 career batting average.
Rhys Hoskins (Jesuit, Carmichael) Phillies
He’s not the first player from Jesuit to be in the World Series. J.P. Howell, the Mr. Baseball State Player of the Year in 2001, pitched for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008. Hoskins played other sports for the Marauders and in 2010 football season as a junior he caught six TD passes. Hoskins later went to Sacramento State for baseball and has become a regular home run threat in the Phillies’ lineup in the last few seasons.
Garrett Stubbs (Torrey Pines, San Diego) Phillies
The most interesting aspect of Stubbs’ career since he was at Torrey Pines from 2009 to 2011 is that he’s not very big for a catcher (5-10, 160 in high school). He could always hit and play the position, though, and now he’s backing up J.T. Realmuto.
Manager: Dusty Baker (Del Campo, Fair Oaks) Astros
Dusty has had a lot of teams win divisional titles and not get to the World Series and he’s had two previous teams get to the World Series and fall short. The first was the Giants in 2002 to the Anaheim Angels, the second was last year with the Astros, which lost to the Atlanta Braves.
Note: Phillies’ manager Rob Thomson is from Canada.
Note: In the Phillies’ final roster named on the day of the first game, pitcher Bailey Falter of Chino Hills was one of two players removed. Neither of the two added is from California. Falter was Class of 2015 at Chino Hills, which means he was one year ahead of 2016 Mr. Basketball State Player of the Year Lonzo Ball.