It all began with Jason Hammel on April 11, 2006.
Hammel, a member of the 2001 AppleSox, toed the rubber against the Baltimore Orioles as a member of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and became the first former Sox player to appear in a major-league game.
Since then, 11 others have appeared in at least one MLB game and countless more on the way in the future. Nine of the 12 former Sox players to make it the majors are pitchers.
The Sox most famous alumnus might be Seattle Mariners southpaw Marco Gonzales. After pitching for the AppleSox in 2010, Gonzales went on to a decorated career at Gonzaga before being drafted in 2013 by the St. Louis Cardinals. In 2019, he not only started both the Mariners’ season opener in Tokyo, Japan, and home opener at T-Mobile Park, he won both outings. Make sure to come to Paul Thomas Sr. Stadium on July 13 for Marco Gonzales bobblehead night!
Earlier this year, Griffin Canning, a member of the 2014 AppleSox, became the most recent former member of the AppleSox to make it to “The Show” when he started a game for the Los Angeles Angels on April 30. Not long after on May 14, 2015 AppleSox alum Keston Hiura debuted with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Two AppleSox players have won World Series rings in their pro careers. First, Clayton Mortensen won one as a member of the 2013 Boston Red Sox and then Hammel won one with the 2016 Chicago Cubs.
When you go to an AppleSox game, you might not know everyone’s name, but remember them, because you never know when you might hear about them again some day.
Below is a list of former Sox players to appear in the pros and when they made their debut…
Player Year of MLB Debut Year with AppleSox
Jason Hammel 2006 2001
Clayton Mortensen 2009 2005-06
Cole Gillespie 2010 2004
Tommy Milone 2011 2006
Steve Ames 2013 2008
Blaine Hardy 2014 2006
Chad Smith 2014 2008
Marco Gonzales 2014 2010
Trevor Brown 2015 2010
Pat Valaika 2016 2011
Zack Weiss 2018 2010
Griffin Canning 2019 2014
Keston Hiura 2019 2015