Country music legend Kenny Rogers died Friday at age 81. Upon seeing the news, I automatically thought of former baseball player Kenny Rogers, who pitched in the major leagues for 20 seasons.
Before making his MLB debut for the Texas Rangers in 1989, Rogers’ journey through the minor leagues included two seasons in the Midwest League. He pitched for the Burlington Rangers in 1984 and 1985, mostly as a reliever.
In 1984, he went 4-7 with a 3.98 ERA, 93 strikeouts, 33 walks, three saves and one shutout in 92.2 innings (39 games/four starts). In 1985, he went 2-5 with a 2.84 ERA, 96 strikeouts, 62 walks, four saves and one shutout in 95 innings (33 games/four starts).
Rogers returned to the Midwest League late in his career when he made a rehab start for the West Michigan Whitecaps. He gave up three runs (one earned) and seven hits, struck out four and walked two in five innings, and was hung with the loss in that 2007 game vs. the Dayton Dragons.
The Caps made a bobblehead to commemorate Kenny’s visit, which somehow I collected.