Daniel Norris began the season with a major-league triumph on Sunday for the Dunedin Blue Jays.
Norris got the victory against Cole Hamels, a fellow left-hander who is pitching for the Clearwater Threshers while rehabbing for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Norris, a 20-year-old Science Hill alumnus, struck out five and walked none while allowing five hits and one run in five innings. Hamels gave up three hits in four innings en route to the loss, but two of those were home runs to Dwight Smith Jr.
Norris texted that going against Hamels was a “pretty neat” experience. His roommate, Arik Sikula, recorded the save.
The 30-year-old Hamels, who is under a seven-year, $153 million contract that runs through 2018, according to Baseball-Reference.com, is 99-74 with a 3.38 ERA in eight years with the Phillies.
Dunedin batting coach Stubby Clapp began his professional career with the Johnson City Cardinals in 1996. Clapp hit .223 for Steve Turco’s Cardinals, who went 42-26 thanks to players such as Brent Butler (.343 avg., eight home runs, 50 RBIs).
Detroit Tigers first-year manager Brad Ausmus’ father, Harry, graduated from Science Hill in 1955.
Science Hill alum P.C. Snapp (class of ’56) said Ausmus lived on Maple Street and frequented the Rainbow Corner hangout at Walnut Street and Sevier Street.
A baseball fan himself, Snapp managed Little League some 15 years for Johnson City Major League.
If Brad Ausmus needs any information on Johnson City, Tigers assistant Ed Hodge can help. Hodge was hired by Detroit last year, in part, to give Prince Fielder a left-hander to face in batting practice.
Hodge, who has remained with Tigers despite the departures of Fielder and legendary manager Jim Leyland, played with Kent Hrbek and Gary Gaetti while going 8-4 for the Elizabethton Twins in 1979. He was 4-3 with a 4.77 ERA for Minnesota in 1984.
Hodge was later a Johnson City police officer and an assistant coach at Milligan College under Doug Jennett.
Among his local friends are Jeff Reed, Dean Baggett and Sam Barnett, who he helped get The Edge facility up and running some dozen years ago.
Science Hill graduate Will Little has a steady diet of major-league umpiring assignments this season. Little, who also played baseball for Texas Rangers pitching instructor Danny Clark at Milligan College, is currently calling the New York Yankees series. That will be followed by series at Arizona, Texas and Boston.
Washington Nationals pitcher Jerry Blevins is from Johnson City. Blevins, a 30-year-old left-hander, pitched in relief for Oakland for seven seasons.
Blevins was born in Johnson City in September of ’83. Anyone with information on Blevins, please email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Blevins attended Arcadia High School (Ohio) and the Cubs drafted him in the 17th round out of the University of Dayton in 2004.comments powered by Disqus