Baylor relishes Triple-A honor

There was a time when Rockies hitting coach Don Baylor wanted to be anywhere but in Rochester, N.Y., but that was understandable. After earning Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year honors in 1970 while playing for the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings, Baylor’s rewad in 1971 was to begin the season in Rochester once more.

“That was a difficult time,” Baylor said. “Today is different. They want players in the big leagues now. We were stockpiling back then.”

Now Rochester has a happier meaning for Baylor. Last month, Baylor learned that he had been chosen to the Intrenational League Hall of Fame.

Baylor was inducted alongside second baseman Bobby Grich, his teammate then, as well as in the Majors with the Orioles and the Angels.

“When I got the call the feelling was, ‘OK, tell me Grich was the other guy,'” Baylor said. “They said, ‘Absolutely.’

“We roomed together in Bluefield (W.Va., in Rookie ball). That was the first time we got together as players, and all through the system we came up together, played in the big leagues togethre for a long time. He’s my son’s godfather.”

Baylor was humbled over the company he joined in th IL Hall of Fame. Part of this year’s class of inductees was longtime Dodgers manager Walter Alston, who managed the Monteal Royals.

“Some of the names made an impression,” Baylor said.

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