SPOKANE, Wash. - At least one former Spokane Indian will hoist the World Series trophy this year, with a total of three meeting in the Fall Classic between the Houston Astros and Washington Nationals. The Houston Astros feature two Indians alums, starting pitcher Zack Greinke and third base coach Gary Pettis, while Spokane will be represented in the Nats dugout by hitting coach Kevin Long.
Greinke, who is slated to start Game 3 for Houston, appeared in two games for the Spokane Indians in 2002 after being drafted 6th overall by the Kansas City Royals that summer. The talented right-hander finished the 2019 regular season with a combined 18-5 record and 2.93 ERA between the Diamondbacks and Astros. Greinke struggled in his first postseason outing this year against the Rays, but bounced back with a pair of solid outings against the Yankees in the ALCS.
Pettis will be looking for his second World Series title with the Astros after helping Houston to a championship in 2017. A five-time Gold Glove winner as a player across 11 MLB seasons, Pettis hit .288 and stole 53 bases with the Indians in 1982, who were a the Triple-A affilate for the Angels at the time. Pettis' son, Dante, is a wide receiver for the San Francisco 49ers after being drafted out of the University of Washington, while his daugther, Kyler, is an actress best known for her role on Days of Our Lives.
Washington's Long will also be searching for his second ring, having previously won with the New York Yankees as their hitting coach in 2009. The 52-year-old spent eight seasons as a player in the minor leagues before becoming a manager in the Royals system in 1998 with the Wilmington Blue Rocks. Long then took over as skipper in Spokane in 1999, leading the Indians to a 44-32 regular season record before capturing the Northwest League title. Despite his success at the helm, Long transitioned to a hitting coach in the minors the following season, eventually reaching the bigs with the Yankees in 2007.
Last year's World Series saw three former Indians (Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland and Craig Bjornson) win baseball's ultimate prize with the Boston Red Sox while a pair took home the title in both 2017 with the Astros (Carlos Beltran and Bjornson) and 2016 with the Cubs (Kyle Hendricks and Carl Edwards Jr.). The recently retired Ned Yost ('78) led the Kansas City Royals to a World Series title in 2015, following fellow Indians alum Bruce Bochy ('89) with the San Francisco Giants in 2014. The Red Sox in 2013 are the last World Series winner to not feature a former Spokane Indian on the roster or coaching staff.
About the Spokane Indians
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