St. Paul Saints players prepping for the team's 25th season home opener today know it's a long way from Lowertown to Major League Baseball. Twenty players, though, have made it to the big league after playing for the Saints.
Many aren't household names, but Boston Red Sox fans will easily find three on the list who helped the team win a World Series. Twins fans will recognize some names, as well. And, of course, there's Darryl Strawberry, maybe the best-known of all Saints.
Below is the Saints' list of 19 who made it, even if it was for just a cup of coffee, following their time with the Saints.
The 20th player, Julio DePaula, played briefly for the Twins in 2007, then the Saints in 2011 and made it back briefly to the majors in 2014, although he never played in a game that year for a big league team. He's not on the list below because his contract wasn't purchased directly from the Saints.
You also won't find players who made it to the minor league teams of MLB teams or signed internationally. And the list doesn't include players like Kerry Ligtenberg and Jack Morris, who played in the majors before coming to the Saints but didn't make it back again to the big league.
• Eliezer Alfonzo, catcher, 2003 Saints season, signed by San Francisco
• Frank Charles, catcher, 1993, Texas
• Doug Dascenzo, outfielder, 1995, San Diego
• J.D. Drew, outfielder, 1997-98, St. Louis
• Matt Duff, pitcher, 2001, St. Louis
• Brandon Kintzler, pitcher, 2009, Milwaukee
• Luis Lopez, third baseman, 1995, Toronto
• Julio Manon, pitcher, 1999, Montreal
• Kevin Millar, third baseman, 1993, Florida
• Mike Mimbs, pitcher, 1993, Philadelphia
• Rey Ordonez, shortstop, 1993, New York Mets
• Eddie Oropesa, pitcher, 1993, Los Angeles Dodgers
• Dan Peltier, first baseman, 1995, San Francisco
• Tanner Scheppers, pitcher, 2009, Texas
• Roy Smith, pitcher, 1997-98, 2004, Cleveland, L.A. Dodgers
• Scott Stewart, pitcher, 1996, Montreal
• Darryl Strawberry, outfielder, 1996, New York Yankees
• Caleb Thielbar, pitcher, 2011, Minnesota
• Jason Varitek, catcher, 1995, Seattle