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Sunday, August 14, 2022

Journeyman Wynton Bernard keys Colorado Rockies win after 10 seasons in minors

Wynton Bernard finally got his chance to play in the major leagues a decade after he was drafted by the San Diego Padres, and he made it count.

Bernard, batting eighth and playing center field, singled, stole a base and scored in his major league debut, helping the Colorado Rockies beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Friday night.

The 31-year-old Bernard toiled in the minors for more than 10 years and 863 games before having his contract from Triple-A Albuquerque selected by Colorado on Friday. He made it a memorable debut when he helped spark a seventh-inning rally that put the Rockies in front for good.

Bernard received a loud ovation when he stepped to the plate for the first time in the bottom of the third. He grounded out to second, but received more love from the crowd.

“I never had anything like that,’’ he said. “That was incredible.’‘

Bernard was taken in the 35th round of the 2012 draft and spent three seasons in the Padres’ minor league system. He also played in the minors for Detroit, San Francisco and the Chicago Cubs, along with stints in the Mexican Winter League, Venezuelan Winter League and independent ball. And, he played for the Brisbane Bandits of the Australian Baseball League.

In 10 minor league seasons, he hit .286 with 50 homers and 226 stolen bases. His first stolen base in the majors had a big impact.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 14, 2022 at 11:46 PM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rockies

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   1. Cooper Nielson Posted: August 15, 2022 at 05:50 AM (#6091683)
I saw him play in a Lugnuts-Whitecaps game in Lansing back in 2014, and he had one of those nights where he seemed to clearly be the best player on the field -- hitting, running, and fielding. I knew that he was quite old for the level (23 at Class A) but thought he could be a late-bloomer and maybe, in the best of all worlds, turn into another Curtis Granderson.

The Tigers needed outfielders (this was shortly after they traded Austin Jackson; Rajai Davis was their CF for the rest of 2014) and I was hoping he would get a chance within the next few years, but it never happened. He did OK at Class AA but then struggled at AAA, and I guess the Tigers let him go.

I had almost forgotten about him but I'm thrilled to see him get this opportunity, even if it's with the irrelevant Colorado Rockies.

Some fun facts:

* Wynton Bernard was, not surprisingly, named after Wynton Marsalis by jazz-loving parents.
* He has played professionally in Mexico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and Australia.
* His brother Walter played briefly in the NFL. His brother Wayne played college basketball at Davidson, and pro ball overseas.
* The Bernard family once appeared on Family Feud!
   2. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: August 15, 2022 at 09:18 AM (#6091689)
   3. Walt Davis Posted: August 15, 2022 at 03:29 PM (#6091737)
* Wynton Bernard was, not surprisingly, named after Wynton Marsalis by jazz-loving parents.

Who hadn't heard of Wynton Kelly after whom Marsalis was named? :-)

Congrats to Wynton B.

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