Better call Saul? River Bandits did in 1999

Former Washington Nationals RHP Saul Rivera saved 23 games for the 1999 Quad City River Bandits. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

Former Washington Nationals pitcher Saul Rivera saved 23 games for the 1999 Quad City River Bandits. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

It appears AMC has a hit in “Better Call Saul,” the prequel series to “Breaking Bad” that premiered earlier this month. This prompted me to wonder how many men named Saul played professional baseball, and, of course, whether any of them played in the Midwest League.

Only two men named Saul ever played in the major leagues — Saul Rogovin, who pitched for four teams over eight seasons, and Saul Rivera, who pitched in parts of five MLB seasons, mostly for the Washington Nationals.

Rogovin led the American League with a 2.78 ERA in 1951, a season he split between the Detroit Tigers and the Chicago White Sox. He never played in the Midwest League, but Rivera did in 1999.

Rivera was impressive in his 60 appearances for the Quad City River Bandits (a Minnesota Twins affiliate at that time), going 4-1 with a 1.42 ERA, 23 saves, 102 strikeouts and 36 walks in 69.2 innings. He gave up only 11 earned runs and finished 54 games.

In addition to Rogovin and Rivera, 26 men with the first name Saul played in the minor leagues. Only one is still active in affiliated baseball: 19-year-old RHP Saul Martinez, who pitched two innings for the Houston Astros in the Dominican Summer League last year. It is possible he eventually will become the next Saul to pitch for the River Bandits, because the team is now affiliated with the Astros.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Midwest League, Quad Cities River Bandits. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Better call Saul? River Bandits did in 1999

  1. Tim Anderson says:

    And no one named Walter White or Heisenberg ever made the big leagues. However, three Walter Whites played minor league baseball in the first part of the 20th century, according to Baseball Reference.

    Like

  2. Actually, there was a Walter White who played in the Midwest League in the mid-1990s, Tim. He didn’t show up in your BR search because he was known as Walt White, not Walter White (his birth name). He was a Florida Marlins farmhand who played infield for the Kane County Cougars in 1995 and 1996: http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=white-002wal

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s