By SEAN ROONEY on April 15, 2019.
He readily admits his team had little to do with it, but Medicine Hat Mavericks owner Greg Morrison is a proud papa nonetheless.
On Sunday, Jacob Webb – who threw for the college-age summer baseball team in 2012 and 2013 – was called up to the Atlanta Braves.
It’s the first time an ex-Mavericks player has ever made a Major League Baseball team.
“We’re such a small part of the career of a baseball player,” said Morrison. “Me, being a guy who played in the minors for 12 years and didn’t make it, from a personal standpoint he’s 25 years old, he played for five years in the minors, you can only imagine that feeling what that is for him and his family.”
The 6-foot-1, 200-pound right-hander from Riverside, Calif. dominated as a reliever with the Mavs, who won their division and got to the league finals each season Webb was in town.
The 2013 season was particularly memorable due to flooding forcing the team to play its games at Jeffries Park. Medicine Hat went 39-7 that summer, the most regular season wins in league history. Webb gave up four runs over 26 appearances, racking up an earned run average of exactly 1.00.
Since then, Webb was an 18th-round draft pick by Atlanta in 2014, had Tommy John surgery in 2015, and has been reliable at every level of minor league ball since. His combined earned run average the past five seasons is 2.84 according to baseball-reference.com and he’s struck out more than one batter per inning.
Morrison’s other connection to Webb’s story is that he knows Braves trainer Mike Frostad, who used to work with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Mavericks have had players advance to the minor leagues before, but never the majors.
“I kind of awaited the day,” said Morrison, who bought the franchise a decade ago. “It’s a numbers game, but to know he played for us for a couple years…
“You’re kind of appreciative that these guys played for you and happy to be a part of their journey, really.”
Morrison said while he doesn’t have exact numbers, he guesses 10 to 15 Mavericks have gone on to play pro in some capacity through the years, the latest being David Salguiero who won a title with the Mavs this past August, then wound up with the Quebec Capitales of the Can-Am League for 13 games.
“When you think of the (Medicine Hat) Tigers, you know there’s one, two, three guys a year that are going to become professionals and possibly become an NHL player,” said Morrison. “I think that really adds to the excitement for the fans, that they are truly watching future stars of baseball or hockey.
“For me it’s trying to put as good a player out on the field as possible.”
Webb was in the Atlanta bullpen Sunday in a 7-3 win over the New York Mets.