Top 10 MLB Baseball Players from Gonzaga University

The Gonzaga University baseball team is overshadowed by the mid-major success of their school’s basketball program, yet a few recognizable players have made it to the major leagues via this school in Spokane, Washington. Out of the 15 former Gonzaga Bulldogs who have played in MLB, here’s a look at the top ten players from the school.

10. Casey Parsons

Years at Gonzaga: 1973-1976

Years in MLB: 1981, 1983-1984, 1987

Career MLB Teams: Seattle Mariners, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians

Position: Outfielder

Career batting average: .189

Career home runs: 2

Career runs batted in: 10

Career achievements: Signed by the San Francisco Giants as an amateur free agent in 1976

After playing for Gonzaga’s baseball team for four years, Parsons went on to play parts of four seasons in the major, primarily serving as a pinch hitter or pinch runner in the games he appeared in during his MLB career.

9. Bo Hart

Years at Gonzaga: 1998-1999

Years in MLB: 2003-2004

Career MLB Teams: St. Louis Cardinals

Position: Second baseman

Career batting average: .274

Career hits: 84

Career home runs: 4

Career runs batted in: 30

Career achievements: Drafted by the 33rd round of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft

In his first year with the Cardinals, Hart made MLB history by hitting .460 in his first ten games with the team, topping a major league record previously held by Kirby Puckett.

8. Rick Sweet

Years at Gonzaga: 1973-1975

Years in MLB: 1978, 1982-1983

Career MLB Teams: San Diego Padres, New York Mets, Seattle Mariners

Position: Catcher

Career batting average: .234

Career home runs: 6

Career runs batted in: 57

Career achievements: Drafted in the third round of the secondary phase of the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft, two-time International League Manager of the Year (2008-2009)

After having a three-year MLB career as a backup catcher, Sweet went onto holding managerial positions as the manager of the Bellingham Mariners, Osceola Astros, Tucson Toros, Harrisburg Senators, Louisville Bats, and one season as the first base coach for the Houston Astros.

7. Jack Spring

Years at Gonzaga: 1951

Years in MLB: 1955, 1957-1958, 1961-1965

Career MLB Teams: Philadelphia Phillies, Boston Red Sox, Washington Senators, Los Angeles Angels, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, Cleveland Indians

Position: Relief pitcher

Career win-loss record: 12-5

Career earned run average: 4.26

Career strikeouts: 86

Career saves: 8

Career achievements: Involved in the infamous Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio trade in 1964, 2005 Inland Northwest Sports Hall of Fame inductee

Best known for being one of the players traded in the infamous Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio trade, considered by many to being the most lopsided baseball trade in history, Spring’s best year came in 1963 where he had a 3-0 record, a 3.05 ERA, and had a 1.28 WHIP.

6. Tom Gorman

Years at Gonzaga: 1977-1980

Years in MLB: 1981-1987

Career MLB Teams: Montreal Expos, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres

Position: Relief pitcher

Career win-loss record: 12-10

Career earned run average: 4.34

Career strikeouts: 144

Career achievements: Drafted in the 4th round of the 1980 Major League Baseball Draft

Playing in parts of seven seasons, Gorman’s best year came in 1984 where he had a 6-0 record, a 2.97 ERA, and had a 1.11 WHIP.

5. Clayton Mortensen

Years at Gonzaga: 2006-2007

Years in MLB: 2009-present

Career MLB Teams: St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland Athletics, Colorado Rockies

Position: Pitcher

Career win-loss record: 4-8

Career earned run average: 5.12

Career strikeouts: 50

Career achievements: Drafted in the 1st round of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft

A first round draft pick in 2007, Mortensen has had a slow start to his career, having being involved in a trade to the Athletics involving Matt Holliday and being traded to the Rockies in 2011.

4. Lenn Sakata

Years at Gonzaga: 1973-1974

Years in MLB: 1977-1987

Career MLB Teams: Milwaukee Brewers, Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees

Position: Second baseman

Career batting average: .230

Career hits: 296

Career home runs: 25

Career runs batted in: 109

Career achievements: Second Asian American to play MLB, one of the 50 greatest sports figures in Hawaii history, member of the Hawaii Sports Hall of Fame, 1983 World Series champion, drafted in the 1st round of the secondary phase of the 1975 Major League Baseball Draft

Sakata was the second Asian American to play MLB and is Yonsei, which is a fourth-generation American of Japanese ancestry. After playing alongside the likes of Cal Ripken, Jr., Sakata went on to manage the Modesto A’s, San Jose Giants, Bakersfield Blaze, Fresno Grizzlies, and the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan. Sakata is currently the hitting coach for the Asheville Tourists.

3. Leon Cadore

Years at Gonzaga: 1906-1908

Years in MLB: 1915-1924

Career MLB Teams: Brooklyn Robins, Chicago White Sox, New York Giants

Career win-loss record: 68-72

Career earned run average: 3.14

Career strikeouts: 445

Career achievements: Shares MLB record for most innings pitched in a single game (26), drafted in the 1914 Rule 5 Draft

A right-handed pitcher born in Chicago, Illinois, Cadore’s best season was in 1917 where he went 13-13, had a 2.45 ERA, had 21 complete games, three saves, and pitched in 264 innings. Aside from his accomplishments mostly with the Robins, Cadore shares an unbelievable MLB record of pitching 26 innings in one game, a feat that will no doubt last forever.

2. Mike Redmond

Years at Gonzaga: 1990-1993

Years in MLB: 1998-2010

Career MLB Teams: Florida Marlins, Minnesota Twins, Cleveland Indians

Position: Catcher

Career batting average: .287

Career hits: 649

Career runs batted in: 243

Career fielding percentage: .996

Career achievements: 2003 World Series champion

A reliable backup catcher over 13 seasons, Redmond was known for his elite defensive abilities behind the plate. During his career, he’s backed up stars like Ivan Rodriguez and Joe Mauer. Since retiring in 2010, Redmond is currently the manager of the Lansing Lugnuts, a Class A minor league affiliate with the Toronto Blue Jays.

1. Jason Bay

Years at Gonzaga: 1999-2000

Years in MLB: 2003-present

Career MLB Teams: San Diego Padres, Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets

Position: Left fielder

Career batting average: .275

Career hits: 1,086

Career home runs: 197

Career runs batted in: 693

Career achievements: 2004 NL Rookie of the Year, Three-time All-Star selection (2005-2006, 2009), three-time Tip O’Neill Award winner (2004-2005, 2009), drafted in the 22nd round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft

Since the start of this century, Bay has been one of the most decorated and prominent players to ever play for the Pirates. During the 2005 season where he was an All-Star and 12th in the MVP voting, Bay played all 162 games of the season, hit 32 home runs, 101 RBI, and a .306 batting average. Also in 2005 was one of Bay’s unique nuggets of his career, as he tied the then-major league record for most steals without getting caught with 21 consecutive stolen bases.

Statistics current as of July 30, 2011.

Source:

Baseball-Reference: Gonzaga University Bulldogs

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