Rhode Island Baseball Has Strong Ties To 2022 Major League Baseball Division Series Teams

The 2022 Major League Baseball Divisional Series got underway yesterday with 4 games on the schedule. The 8 teams remaining will play a best of 5 series for the opportunity to move on to the American or National League Championship Series. According to http://www.mlb.com, here are the brackets and matchups for the American and National League Divisional Series:

This season, the spotlight on Rhode Island based/born players playing in the Major Leagues has focused (rightly so) on two recent players – New York Yankees Pitcher Michael King, Houston Astros Shortstop Jeremy Peña. Peña and King had spectacular seasons and deserve all the media praise and recognition they are receiving. Peña continues to dazzle not only Rhode Island baseball fans, but is gaining major popularity in Houston and throughout the country. His Astros are up 1-0 in their series. King was a dominant reliever before injuries sidelined him for the season. However, in his absence, the Yankees bullpen has been very erratic and King’s name has been mentioned often as a major contributor that will be sorely missed in the playoffs. What an exciting time for the Peña and King families!!!

So, I got to thinking about the 8 teams left in the 2022 MLB playoffs and the players from Rhode Island who played for them. I went to a reliable source – www.baseball-almanac.com – to research players and teams to find the Rhode Island Baseball Connection to the 2022 MLB Playoffs. Here is what I found:

  • New York Yankees – (aforementioned) Michael King (Bishop Hendricken HS), Mason Williams (Pawtucket)
  • Houston Astros – (aforementioned) Jeremy Peña (Classical HS), Dan Wheeler (Pilgrim HS), Davey Lopes (East Providence)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – Sean Maloney (North Kingstown HS, former teammate), Davey Lopes (East Providence), Clem Labine (Woonsocket HS)
  • San Diego Padres – Billy Almon (Providence)
  • Cleveland (formerly Indians) – Jeff Beliveau (Bishop Hendricken HS), Nap Lajoie (Woonsocket)
  • Seattle Mariners – Chris Iannetta (St Raphael’s Academy)
  • Atlanta Braves – Max Surkont (Central Falls), Chet Nichols (Pawtucket)
  • Philadelphia Phillies – Hugh Duffy (HOF’er, Cranston), Ken Ryan (Pawtucket)

The Rhode Island Baseball Connection to Major League Baseball is definitely thriving with recent players Michael King and Jeremy Peña performing at a very high level. And the past connection to the current MLB playoff teams is strong as well with names like Wheeler and Lopes and Labine and Iannetta and Ryan and Alman – who all made significant contributions to teams like the Phillies, Dodgers, Astros, and Padres while they were in the Major Leagues. It is so amazing to read and learn about the current and former players from Rhode Island who have experienced the dream of all baseball dreamers – the opportunity to play in the Major Leagues.

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