26 Oct

old times here

With the announcement that Game 6 of the World Series has been postponed by weather from tonight to Thursday, there was no immediate word as to whether Matt Harrison would still draw the Game 7 (if necessary) start for Texas. The former Mississippi Braves left-hander had gotten the nod on Tuesday from manager Ron Washington, who said then that it didn’t matter whether the series was pushed back, Harrison would still be the guy. He’s 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA this postseason. We’ll see. Surely it would be a dream come true for Harrison to start a Game 7 of the Fall Classic, but there has to be some butterflies, too. It seems like only yesterday that Harrison was making his M-Braves debut. That was on June 25, 2006, the day he was promoted from A-ball with an 8-4 record, a 3.10 ERA and some hype. He was a third-round draft pick out of high school in 2003 and already was showing up on Atlanta’s prospect lists. He lost his first start at Trustmark Park to Huntsville but pitched well enough. He went six innings, yielding seven hits and four runs with six strikeouts and a walk. Harrison didn’t get his first Double-A win until his fourth start, when he threw seven shutout innings at Huntsville on July 15 of ’06. On Aug. 1, he threw five hitless innings in relief to notch his second win. He finished the season 3-4, 3.61, and he returned to the TeePee in 2007, going 5-7, 3.39 and helping the M-Braves win a first-half championship. On July 31, he was traded, along with Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus in the Mark Teixeira deal. Harrison made his big league debut the next year. … To be fair, here’s a note on the other former JADAP (Jackson area Double-A player) in the Series, Lance Berkman. Berkman also was in the news Tuesday, when it was announced that he would hit cleanup (instead of fifth) for St. Louis in Game 6. Berkman’s debut as a Jackson General at Smith-Wills Stadium isn’t as easily recalled, but it was worth looking up. On April 8, 1998, on the first pitch Berkman saw at Smith-Wills, he homered. He hit it left-handed off Shreveport righty Jason Grilli, another future big leaguer. Berkman went on to hit .306 with 24 homers for the Gens and was in The Show with Houston a year later. Old times are not forgotten.

Mike Christensen

Mike Christensen

A long-time sports fan and 30-year newspaper veteran muses on all things baseball in Mississippi. Contact: mwchristens@gmail.com
Mike Christensen

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