Kevin Russo, BSED ’07, became the 39th Bear ever to appear in the Major Leagues Saturday when he was called up by the New York Yankees on Saturday and took over third base for Alex Rodriguez in the ninth inning of a win over the Boston Red Sox.
Russo, the starting third baseman on Baylor’s 2005 College World Series team and a 20th-round pick by the Yankees in 2006, came off the bench in the Yankees’ win Saturday and again in a loss Sunday, with both appearances coming on national TV (Fox and ESPN); see video of his first at-bat here and of an outstanding defensive play here.
Russo joins outfielder David Murphy (Texas Rangers) and catcher Kelly Shoppach (Tampa Bay Rays) as Bears in the big leagues. Twelve other former Baylor players are active at some level of the minor leagues. After seeing some brief time in the bigs last year, Drew Sutton is back at AAA for the Cincinnati Reds. Five Bears are at Double-A: Michael Griffin (Reds), Jeff Mandel (Nationals), Mark Saccomanno (Marlins), Beamer Weems (Padres) and Abe Woody (Diamondbacks). Another six BU draftees are at lower levels: Nick Cassavechia (Tigers), Shaver Hansen (Mariners), Aaron Miller (Dodgers), Mace Thurman (Reds), Cory VanAllen (Nationals) and Kendal Volz (Red Sox).
Sic ’em, Bears in the pros!