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Welcome to the family, Sammie Starr



By Scott Barancik, editor

For the second time in a week, we have the pleasure of introducing you to a newly-discovered member of the Jewish Baseball family: Baltimore Orioles prospect Sammie Starr.

A 25-year-old infielder from Toronto, Starr’s father is Jewish, his mother converted to Judaism, and Starr himself became Bar Mitzvah. Baseball is a family tradition. His father, Les, coached youth ball. His grandfather and namesake, Sam Starr, was part of a group that purchased the minor-league Toronto Maple Leafs in 1964, tried to sell shares to the public, and gave Sparky Anderson his first professional managerial job.

Starr is building his own baseball legacy. Though small in stature — he stands 5-foot-8-inches and weighs 165 pounds — the University of British Columbia alum was drafted by the O’s in the 34th round of the 2010 amateur draft. Since then he’s logged more than 305 games, mostly at shortstop and second base. In 2013, he hit a career low .216 but notched career highs with 6 HRs and 45 RBIs, nearly all for the A-advanced Frederick Keys.

Starr continues to find new ways to contribute. Last Sunday (5/11/2014), the Keys were down 3-1 to the Winston-Salem Dash with one out in the bottom of the 9th when he smashed a two-run HR to tie the game. The Keys went on to win 4-3.

Last month (4/23/2014), he made his professional pitching debut. With two outs in the top of the 9th and the Keys hopelessly down 21-8 to the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Starr came to the mound to face Hanser Alberto. Fittingly, Alberto grounded out to the shortstop.

Starr turns 26 on on May 31. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sammie_Starr1.

Editor’s note: Special thanks to Ephraim Moxson of Jewish Sports Review for helping reach out to Starr’s family.

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