David Holman and Anthony Phillips (pictured) have a few things in common since they both played a season in the American Association, and they are teammates with the Colorado Rockies’ top farm club in Albuquerque.
Oh yes, each had a very solid initial performance with the Isotopes as they continue their quest to join a number of onetime American Association players who have made it to the major leagues.
Holman is a giant of a man at 6-foot-6 and 220 pounds from Kansas and spent the ’16 season as a starter and reliever for the Kansas City T-Bones (4-5, 4.37) while Phillips is a mere 5-foot-9, 165 from Cape Town, South Africa. He hit .269 in 91 games that same season playing the infield for the St. Paul Saints.
Holman’s debut for Albuquerque came last Saturday when he only allowed an unearned run in three scoreless innings of relief to help out in a 9-4 victory at Salt Lake. On the same diamond the next day, Phillips belted a home run and two doubles, driving in three runs in an 11-4 triumph.
One more similarity: Phillips turned 28 Thursday, one and a half months ahead of Holman.
Staying Calm as the Eagle Lands
It is doubtful he had a similar experience while in the American Association (Grand Prairie), but Seattle southpaw James Paxton certainly has a story to tell about what happened during the national anthem as he was getting ready to pitch in Minnesota when a bald eagle decided to land on his shoulder.
“It was a wait-and-see-what-happens kind of thing,” he told Men’s Health magazine. “I knew the bird was highly trained (for such appearances). It’s not like it’s just going to go off the rails and attack somebody, or else it wouldn’t be doing what it’s doing. I had that logic going in my head at the same time I saw it flying towards me. I just figured it was confused and wanted to land on me. That, I think, kept me calm.”
Insider Car News had a postscript to the story, again quoting Paxton, a Canadian: “I’m pretty sure there’s a clause somewhere in the Constitution that says if a bald eagle deems you patriotic enough to land on, then you are automatically named President of the United States.”
Paxton remained steady to strike out seven Twins in five innings of two-run, no decision work.
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, www.IndyBaseballChatter.com, and a book about his life, “The Passion of Baseball”, is available at Amazon.com or WirzandAssociates.com.