I’m a day late, but quick congratulations to, in my opinion, three of the greatest managers of our time on being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Championship managers Tony La Russa (Athletics/Cardinals), Bobby Cox (Braves), and Joe Torre (Yankees) were selected during the first day of baseball winter meetings. The three combine for a total of 91 years and nearly 14,000 games coaching big league ball. From 1988 through 2006, 14 of the 18 World Series featured La Russa, Cox or Torre. Legendary.
He’s at it again. Big L has always been known for his crazy antics around the park. He’s now taking it to a whole new level, challenging the “photogenicity” (that’s not even a word) of legends all over. Take a look at these pictures we found on Big L’s desk. Bo needs to know about this one.
Each month I will be chronicling the success of former Legends players who have had extraordinary careers in baseball. From their play on the field in Lexington and beyond. These are the best of the best! This month, I look at the career of my fellow Pulaski Countian (Kentucky born and raised, baby!), Josh Anderson. (no bias intended).
Legend: “a story coming down from the past; especially one popularly regarded as historical, although not verifiable” – Webster’s Dictionary.
In high school, Josh Anderson once hit for a .552 batting average as a senior playing for the Maroons of Pulaski County. Wait, what? I know what you are thinking. “Russ, I’m pretty sure you just made that up”. Ok, fair enough. But what if I also told you that in 2003, Anderson posted a .447 BA with the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels, while also stealing base 57 times? “Russ, I’m going to have to verify those numbers. Those are ‘legendary’ numbers”. Ladies and gentlemen, Josh Anderson is indeed a Legend. In fact, he was the first Kentuckian ever to wear a Lexington Legends uniform, and those ‘legendary’ numbers are very real.
Josh grew up in Eubank, KY and graduated from Pulaski County High School in 2000. After being selected three consecutive years to the All-District and Regional teams, his senior year he made the All-Sectional Tournament team boasting that .552 average I spoke of earlier, while also hitting 10 HR’s and robbing bases like it was ‘Ocean’s Eleven’ an insane 34 times. After his playing days as a Maroon were over, Josh chose to attend Eastern Kentucky University, where he would continue to put up legendary numbers for the Colonels. In his three seasons in Richmond, Josh hit .391 with 13 HR’s and 103 RBI’s. The numbers that really stick out, however, are those were he continued robbing bases. Josh holds the OVC all-time steals record with 119, while leading the entire nation with 57 in 2003. That same season, he batted an impressive .447 while on his way to earning First-Team Louisville Slugger All-American honors. After only his third season in college, the Houston Astros decided to pick Anderson with the 119th overall pick in the MLB Draft, eventually landing Josh with then-Astros minor league Single A affiliate, the Lexington Legends.
Josh continued to shine in the LEX. In his short stint with the Legends, Josh hit for .324 and 31 RBI’s while stealing base 48 times…in only 73 games. Fans loved coming to watch their native son play for the hometown team. The Legends even honored Anderson with his own figurine of him stealing base, of course. (If I may add, he was also wearing an EKU baseball cap. Go Colonels!). He was then promoted to Advanced Class A Salem, where in that same 2004 MiLB season, he continued to wreak havoc on the bases. Josh led all of Minor League Baseball that season (with Lexington and Salem) with a total of 78 stolen bases. Word on the street is that Lexington and Salem police are still looking for all 78 bases.
After a couple more years in the Astros farm system, Josh Anderson finally got the call in 2007 to play in “The Show”. He finished that season with Houston, but was then traded to the Atlanta Braves later on in the year. Josh had a .294 average with 10 stolen bases as a Brave before being traded to the Detroit Tigers in 2009. He played 74 games with the Tigers, batting .242. Josh spent his last stint in the majors with the Kansas City Royals. He would eventually become a free agent, and after some time in the minors and a fractured wrist, Josh would ultimately decide to hang up his cleats.
To me, it is only fitting that Josh Anderson started his major league career with Houston (Legends affiliate from 2001-2012) and ended it in Kansas City (Legends current affiliate). For him, being attached to the Legends organization by being a former player only, is just not enough. Josh will forever be a legend of Kentucky baseball lore. From Eubank to Lexington.
By Russell Abner
Since the Legends last game against the West Virginia Power on August 31st, I just know you feel like something has been missing in your lives. I, for one, feel it too. But before I get started on how I feel…with this being our first “official” post of the updated blog, please allow me to introduce myself. Hello. My name is Russell Abner, and I am an intern currently working with the Lexington Legends. I’m 27 years old, and sorry ladies…I am off the market. I may also be the oldest intern in Minor League Baseball, but that’s irrelevant.
Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get back to how I feel about the absence of baseball. ‘America’s Greatest Past Time’ is what enticed me to resurrect this blog. Like you, I am a fan. We all go to the ballpark for different reasons, and for those of us who attend Minor League Baseball games, there are many different aspects of it that bring us to games. The entertainment. The good, clean family fun. Closer interactions with the players. Mascots getting chased around the field. Bobble heads! Mega-machine t shirt guns! And of course…baseball. We here at the Legends try very hard, especially during the off-season, to give you one heck of a “Legendary” experience while at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. We are preparing day-in and day-out to put on a show for you. In that same regard, our players are out there practicing everyday trying to get better and better so that they can continue chasing a dream..but to also give you good quality baseball. My goal with this blog is to combine all the aspects of MiLB that I mentioned and get you absolutely PUMPED for this upcoming season!
I hope you enjoy.
The Lexington Legends official blog is back! We are in ‘countdown to baseball’ mode and in 118 days, the Legends open up the gates at Whitaker Bank Ballpark! We are here to give you all the news, events and updates leading up to the season. So sit back, grab some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, and enjoy the show. This is Lexington Legends Baseball!