Hopefully Laredo has some sidearmers. (And hopefully the Lemurs have guys named Joey.)
Twenty-eight years ago, Pete Incaviglia went straight from the campus of Oklahoma State University into the cleanup spot in the Rangers’ Opening Day lineup. He never spent a day in instructional league. Incaviglia never rode the buses. He never caught the 5:30 a.m. connecting flights to get from one Minor League city to another.
Now look at him. Incaviglia knows all about bus rides, and meal money that can barely cover the cost of coffee, much less meals.
Incaviglia is the manager of the Laredo (Texas) Lemurs in the independent American Association… And on Wednesday night, the Lemurs clinched an American Association playoff spot for the second time in three years, earning the Wild Card berth with five games remaining in the regular season…
Incaviglia was so intent on going directly to the big leagues that after Montreal made him the eighth overall Draft pick in 1985, he refused to sign without a guarantee. The Expos declined and then traded his rights to the Rangers, who signed him. That led to Major League Baseball adopting what is known as the “Incaviglia Rule,” which forbids a team from trading a Draft pick until one year after he signs his first pro contract…
Incaviglia played 12 years in the big leagues, the first five with the Rangers. He hit 206 home runs during his time with the Rangers, Tigers, Phillies, Astros, Orioles and Yankees… the Dallas-Fort Worth area native took a job as manager of the Grand Prairie Air Hogs in 2008, leading them to the American Association championship in ‘10. After that season, the Grand Prairie ownership bought the American Association franchise in Shreveport, La., and moved it to Laredo. Incaviglia decided to make the move with them.
The players in independent baseball don’t get rich. They all need offseason jobs so they can pay bills. However, they all have the dream to playing in the big leagues, and Incaviglia wants to help them achieve their dream… It’s something Incaviglia never even thought about when he came out of Oklahoma State.
It’s something that, nearly three decades later, consumes his life.
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