Dodgers call up five from triple-A Albuquerque -- including John Lindsey after 16 seasons in the minors
They were five names scribbled on a crumpled piece of paper. Joe Torre sat in the dugout Sunday, scanned the list and read them off, one by one ...
John Ely, Jon Link, John Lindsey, Chin-lung Hu and Russell Mitchell.
They are the next wave of September call-ups who will be joining the Dodgers from triple-A Albuquerque on Monday in San Diego.
One name stopped everyone for a moment -- Lindsey.
"Now there's a great story," Torre said.
For Lindsey, Monday will mark the apex of a journey most would have given up on years ago, countless rejections ago.
Lindsey has spent 16 years in the minor leagues without getting a sniff of the majors. No current player has spent more time in the minors without so much as a September call-up.
But Lindsey, 33, a first baseman/designated hitter, finally earned his call-up by leading the Pacific Coast League in hitting (.356) and slugging percentage (.663). He also had 25 home runs and 97 RBIs.
Originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in 1995, he has bounced around seven times between different organizations, including a 2006 stint with the independent New Jersey Jackals. To that point, he’d never played above double A.
Lindsey was ready to give up on his baseball dream after his time with the Jackals, and he returned to his home in Hattiesburg, Miss. He enrolled in the local community college and began making plans for life after baseball.
But a call from Lorenzo Bundy, a former Rockies instructor but then the manager of the Dodgers' triple-A team in Las Vegas, convinced him to give it another try.
Now, after four seasons at triple A -- including one with the Florida Marlins' affiliate last season -- Lindsey will finally get to walk into a clubhouse as a major leaguer.
Monday also will mark the first trip to the majors for Mitchell. A third baseman, he joined Lindsey on the all-PCL team. A 15th-round pick by the Dodgers in 2003, he hit .315 with 23 home runs, 38 doubles and 86 RBIs in his first year at triple A.
-- Steve Dilbeck