01/27/2004 9:11 AM - (KANSAS CITY, Kan.) For baseball front office personnel, the months of January and February are key for ensuring that the summer will be an exciting one. Around CommunityAmerica Ballpark, its no exception. T-Bones manager Dirty Al Gallagher is working overtime putting together a roster that will heartily challenge for the 2004 Northern League title.
After re-signing 2003 Northern League MVP Eddie Pearson, Gallagher continues to work the phones. Other T-Bones familiar with the Kansas City area are coming back to the friendly confines of CommunityAmerica Ballpark.
First baseman Ray Brown re-upped with the T-Bones for his eleventh season of minor league ball. In ten seasons in the minor leagues, Brown has been as high as AAA ball; he has hit .313 in that span and, despite being hampered by plantar fasciitis, hit .279 last year for the T-Bones. The T-Bones have added a new face as well, with outfielder Phil Thompson coming over from the Gary-Southshore Railcats. Thompson, a native of San Diego, hit .224 last season for Gary, but his potential excites Gallagher. Phil Thompson is a powerful young man who we believe can be one of the top hitters in the Northern League. And in a lineup with experienced hitters like Ray Brown and Eddie Pearson, he will be able to relax and learn, remarked Gallagher.
On the mound, a couple of familiar faces to Kansas City baseball are taking the hill in CommunityAmerica Ballpark this year. Rockhurst College graduate Jonathan Krysa, who posted a 3.72 ERA in six starts for the T-Bones last season, is back at full strength after having bone spurs removed from his elbow last June. A new face to CommunityAmerica Ballpark, Eric Horner, will make his debut with the T-Bones in 2004. Horner, who is the pitching coach for Johnson County (KS) Community College, went 2-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 appearances with the Ozark Mountain Ducks of the Central League last season.
After a successful inaugural campaign, the Kansas City T-Bones of the Northern League are eagerly preparing for their second season. For information about creative sponsorship packages, season tickets, and group outings, please call the T-Bones front office at 913/328-BALL, or visit the T-Bones web site at www.tbonesbaseball.com. The Kansas City T-Bones Fun Well Done!