Independent Baseball Chatter – by Bob Wirz

Even when a popular American Association player does not show up these days in a league box score it does not mean he is not drawing a paycheck elsewhere in the professional game.

Such is the case of C. J. Retherford, the multi-position infielder who played in well over 200 games for Fargo in the ’11, ’13 and ’14 seasons, twice hitting over .300.  Now 31 and more unlikely of ever wearing a major league uniform during his playing days, Retherford is still productive in Mexican League play.

He hit .288 with 14 homers and 58 runs batted in during 107 games for Campeche during the Triple-A summer season, and is at .246-3-10 in his first 16 winter league contests for Mexicali in the Mexican Pacific League.

Right-hander Julio DePaula, who was at St. Paul for a time in 2011 and eventually was on the Baltimore Orioles’ active roster a few days although he did not get into any games, is 2-1, 2.50 for his first four starts in Venezuela.

Among other former American Association players who have donned Venezuelan League uniforms are Lincoln catcher Jose Gil, Lincoln-El Paso-Joplin infielder-outfielder Maikol Gonzalez, and Laredo hurler Matt Sergey. Onetime Lincoln (and major league) hurler Angel Castro is in the Dominican Republic, while Fargo pitcher Tyler Herron is in Puerto Rico.  Gonzalez was the American Association’s all-star shortstop at El Paso in 2013.

Previously the chief spokesman for Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth, Bob Wirz has been writing extensively about Independent Baseball since 2003.  He is a frequent contributor to this site, has a blog,, and his book, “The Passion of Baseball”, was introduced October 5 .


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