Kenneth Allan Phelps
, nicknamed "Digger"
, is a former Major League Baseball designated hitter
and first baseman
. During an 11-year baseball career, he played from 1980-1990 for six different teams, but he played primarily with the Seattle Mariners
. He achieved lasting notice when the pioneering baseball statistician, Bill James
made him an emblem for a class of Minor League Baseball
players who are unfairly denied a chance to play in the Majors despite compiling Minor League Baseball
statistics that would indicate an ability to succeed in the Majors. Phelps eventually played a major role on the 1984 Mariners and went on to enjoy a successful, if brief, career despite not becoming established until age 29.
Phelps' aforementioned nickname was often used by usual broadcast partner Greg Schulte
. However, he should not be confused with noted college basketball broadcaster Digger Phelps
Phelps was born August 6, 1954 in Seattle
. After attending Seattle's Ingraham High School
he played a year at Washington State University
before he headed south to Mesa Community College
looking for an opportunity to play at Arizona State University
, the school of his dreams. He gained national acclaim in his only season at MCC and was named a Junior College All American. At Mesa, he was drafted twice in the first round (January and June drafts) by the New York Yankees
and Philadelphia Phillies
, respectively. He had previously been drafted by the......