Ten Major League Baseball Players From North Dakota
Spring Training is officially underway for Major League Baseball teams across the country, which means Opening Day is coming up quickly. So, what better time than the present to take a look at North Dakotans who made it all the way to the 'big leagues?'
While there haven't been many, a handful of guys from the Peace Garden State have worn a uniform for a Major League Baseball team. Some have even won the World Series!
So, without further ado, here are ten North Dakotans who have played baseball in the Major Leagues.
Catcher Chris Coste attended Fargo South, before playing collegiate baseball for both Kishwaukee College and Concordia College, according to Wikipedia.
Coste spent the majority of his MLB career with the Philadelphia Phillies, winning a World Series with the team in 2008.
Since his playing career ended, Coste has written two books and is currently the head baseball coach at his alma mater, Concordia College.
Born in Jamestown in 1974, Darin Erstad excelled at many different sports, including baseball, football, and hockey. Because Jamestown High School didn't have a baseball program, Erstad played American Legion baseball and was named the 1992 AP North Dakota Athlete of the Year, according to Wikipedia.
Erstad played collegiate ball in Nebraska, before being the first overall pick by the California Angels in 1995. He made his MLB debut with the Angels on June 14th, 1996.
During his career, Erstad hit .282 with 124 home runs and 699 RBIs. He is currently the head baseball coach at his alma mater, the University of Nebraska.
Travis Hafner was born in Jamestown in 1977 and attended high school in Sykeston, which didn't have a baseball program, according to Wikipedia.
After graduating from high school, Hafner went to a community college in Kansas, before being drafted by the Texas Rangers. He made his MLB debut on August 6th, 2002 and spent time with three different teams: the Texas Rangers, Cleveland Indians, and New York Yankees.
Hafner owns the MLB record for most grand slams in a season (6).
Born in Devils Lake, Rick Helling attended Lakota High School before transferring to Shanley.
Helling went on to play baseball at Stanford University and was selected in the first round of the 1992 MLB Draft by the Texas Rangers, according to Wikipedia.
Helling made his MLB debut with the Rangers in 1994 and spent time with six other teams during his career.
Better known for his time as a manager than a player, Tim Johnson was born in Grand Forks in 1949.
The Toronto Blue Jays named Johnson their manager in 1998, replacing fan favorite Cito Gaston. Johnson made headlines a few years later when he admitted that the stories he told players about his time in the Vietnam War were completely fabricated.
Johnson was fired by the Blue Jays the following season, according to Wikipedia.
Born in Williston in 1964, Mark Lee pitched all or part of four seasons between 1988 and 1995 in the Major Leagues.
Lee spent time with the Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, and Baltimore Orioles, compiling a record of 5-5 with a 3.82 ERA.
Though he was actually born in Minnesota, Roger Maris grew up in both Grand Forks and Fargo and actually played baseball at Fargo Central High School.
Maris began his baseball career in the minors, playing for the Fargo-Moorhead Twins in 1953. Maris spent a few more years in the minors before joining the Cleveland Indians for the 1957-58 season.
Maris was a 7-time All Star, 3-time World Series champion, and 2-time American League MVP. Unfortunately, Maris was never elected to the Hall of Fame, however his number, 9, was retired by the New York Yankees in 1984, according to Wikipedia.
Born in Sheldon, Lynn 'Line Drive' Nelson spent all or part of seven seasons in the Majors, playing for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Athletics, and Detroit Tigers.
In his career, Nelson compiled a record of 33-42 with a 5.25 ERA, according to Wikipedia.
Born in Grand Forks in 1978, Tim Olson spent parts of two seasons in the Major Leagues, playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies.
During his time at the University of Florida, Olson had a school-record twenty-nine game hitting streak, according to Wikipedia.
Pitcher Seth Rosin was born in Fargo, but played his high school ball in Minnesota at Mounds View High School, according to Wikipedia.
Rosin was picked 28th overall by the Minnesota Twins in the 2007 MLB Draft, but opted instead to go to college and play at the University of Minnesota.
The pitcher was then drafted again in 2010, this time by the San Francisco Giants. Since being drafted in 2010, Rosin has spent time in the minor leagues with teams affiliated with the Giants, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Texas Rangers.
Rosin made his MLB debut in 2014 for the Texas Rangers.