Clay Bellinger

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Clay Bellinger
Bellingers (48266225551) (cropped).jpg
Bellinger in 2019
Outfielder / Infielder
Born: (1968-11-18) November 18, 1968 (age 52)
Oneonta, New York
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
April 9, 1999, for the New York Yankees
Last MLB appearance
April 8, 2002, for the Anaheim Angels
MLB statistics
Batting average.193
Home runs12
Runs batted in35
Teams
Career highlights and awards
Firefighter career
DepartmentGilbert Fire Department
Service years2007-present

Clayton Daniel Bellinger (born November 18, 1968) is a former Major League Baseball player. He played in MLB for the New York Yankees and the Anaheim Angels, winning the World Series three times, twice as a member of the Yankees and once as a member of the Angels.

His son, Cody, was the 2019 National League MVP and won the 2020 World Series.

Early life[edit]

A native of Oneonta, New York, Bellinger played shortstop for Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.

Career[edit]

Bellinger was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the second round (44th overall pick) in the 1989 draft. His first 10 seasons of professional baseball were spent in the minor leagues, six in Triple-A. Before his first call-up as a 30-year-old in 1999, he played more than 1,000 minor league games. Bellinger played for the New York Yankees in 1999, 2000, and 2001. He played every position (including designated hitter) except for catcher and pitcher.[1]

In the ninth inning of Game 2 of the 2000 World Series, Bellinger was inserted in left field in place of David Justice. Bellinger scaled the wall to rob the Mets' Todd Zeile of a two-run home run and preserve a victory for the Yankees. The Yankees released him when he became eligible for arbitration; Bellinger then signed with the Anaheim Angels.[1] He played two games at first base for the Angels in 2002, had one at-bat in which he struck out, and was eventually demoted to the minor leagues.

International career[edit]

While playing in the Baltimore Orioles system in 2004, he was recruited by owner Peter Angelos to play for the Greek baseball team in the 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athens. Bellinger has Greek grandparents, and Angelos was in charge of the Greek national baseball team. In order to field a competitive team in the Olympics, Angelos made the decision to use experienced American players with mostly distant Greek ancestry (players' ancestry eligibility was allowed to date as far back as great-grandparents), as opposed to native Greeks due to their inexperience in a country where baseball was almost never played.[2] Bellinger agreed as he hoped it would earn him a September call-up to the Orioles' roster when the Olympics were over. The Greek team went 1–6 and failed to advance to the medal round. Bellinger was one of a handful of players on the roster with Major League experience, and the only player to have won a World Series ring. He was not promoted to the Orioles' roster after the games concluded.

After baseball[edit]

Bellinger was the assistant coach of the Chandler, Arizona, Little League All-Stars, who advanced to the 2007 Little League World Series.

As of 2017, Bellinger has been working for several years as a firefighter in Gilbert, Arizona.[3][4]

Personal life[edit]

Bellinger and his wife Jennifer have a daughter and two sons: Ashli, Cody, who plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers,[5] and Cole, who was drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2017.[6] Clay pitched to Cody in the 2017 Home Run Derby.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Shaikan, Bill (March 13, 2002). "Bellinger Knows About Winning". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  2. ^ Caple, Jim. "It's not Greek to them". ESPN. Retrieved June 20, 2020.
  3. ^ a b Crasnick, Jerry (July 10, 2017). "Outfielder/firefighter/Home Run Derby pitcher Clay Bellinger is MLB's most sought-after dad". ESPN.com. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
  4. ^ Zeiger, Dan (March 1, 2011). "Gilbert firefighter in new league of her own". East Valley Tribune. Retrieved September 15, 2014.
  5. ^ Dodgers take first baseman Bellinger in fourth round
  6. ^ Padres draft rookie Bellinger's brother, Cole

External links[edit]