Utahns in baseball: ESPN revisits ex-Ute Wagner’s historic road trip; Cron earning trust from MLB coaches

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David Fleming, of ESPN the Magazine, chronicled the Biloxi Shuckers’ unprecedented 54-game road trip that began as the season started and ended on June 6, with former Utah pitcher taking the mound.


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While Fleming details many events within the trip, he also revisits the moment the team learned Wagner was headed to majors and the moment he came back after one start with the Milwaukee Brewers.

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It was May 28 when the Shuckers were brought in for a team meeting. In the meeting, the team learned when the new Biloxi, Mississippi, stadium would be ready for its first game. After initial disgust, the team was also informed that Wagner was heading up to the majors for the first time.

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“The room explodes in celebration, and 100 percent of the team mobs Wagner, whose blond beard is soaked in tears,” Fleming writes. “There is no jealousy or envy visible here. The Shuckers have been saying the trip has turned them into a baseball brotherhood. This moment seems to prove it.”

Wagner made one start in Biloxi, which Fleming writes the entire team watched from a Chattanooga clubhouse. However, the former Ute was pulled in the fourth innings after allowing five runs on nine hits. He was sent down after the game.

“Emotional-wise, it was a pretty tough 24 hours to deal with, I’m not gonna lie,” Wagner told Fleming afterward. Eventually the 54-game road trip ended when the team’s stadium finally opened on June 6, which Wagner started.

Wagner, still in Double-A Biloxi, is 10-5 with a 2.21 ERA this season. His 2.21 ERA is tied for the best in the Southern League.

Meanwhile, fellow former Ute hit a big home run for the Los Angeles Angels on Monday.

With the Angels and all knotted up at 1-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Cron hit an opposite field home run that made all the difference in Los Angeles’ 2-1 win over the White Sox.

Cron played in all seven games the Angels played over the week, picking up seven hits, including two home runs. Cron is batting .270 with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs in 76 games and beginning to earn the trust of his major league coaches.

“We told him not to worry about home runs because he can hit them out without focusing on that,” Angels hitting coach Don Baylor told Los Angeles Daily News writer Mark Whicker. “He’s a guy who can hit the ball out to right field in any park. There are not a lot of guys who can do that.”

Elsewhere, former BYU pitcher Taylor Cole just missed his second complete game shutout of the season on Sunday. Cole pitched eight shutout innings, striking out six, when he was called on to pitch the ninth. However, he allowed a leadoff hit and then a home run before getting pulled.

The righty won, regardless, as Double-A New Hampshire defeated Binghamton 4-3. He collected his first pro career complete game shutout for New Hampshire on July 4.

Cole is 6-10 with a 4.45 ERA in 25 starts for the affiliate.


C.J. Cron Jerseys (Utah), Los Angeles Angels: Seven hits, three RBIs and four runs scored in 27 at-bats over the week. Cron homered twice over the week, including a go-ahead solo shot in the bottom of the seventh inning to lead Los Angeles to a 2-1 win over the Chicago White Sox Jerseys on Monday. The former Ute is batting .270 with 10 home runs, which is one shy of his rookie total last season, and 29 RBIs in 76 games this season.

(BYU), Kansas City Royals: Allowed seven hits, three walks and three runs in 4 1/3 innings, picking up a no-decision in Kansas City’s 4-3 win over Cincinnati on Wednesday. Guthrie, who also cheap baseball jerseys struck out four batters, failed to collect at least five innings of work for the first time since giving up 11 runs in one inning of work against the Yankees on May 25.

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