Six Former Diamond Dogs Active In 2012 MLB Playoffs
Six former Diamond Dogs --- Jeff Brantley (1982-85), Paul Maholm (2001-03), Chris Maloney (1980-83), Tyler Moore ((2008), Mitch Moreland (2005-07) and Nat Showalter (1977) will be representing six different MLB organizations on the field, in the dugout or in the broadcast booth in this year's postseason baseball.
Showalter will be managing opposite Moreland when Texas hosts Baltimore in the one-game American League Wild Card playoff in Arlington, Texas. Maloney will be coaching at first base for the Cards opposite pitcher Braves hurler Paul Maholm in the one-game National League Wild Card playoff in Atlanta, Ga. Both games will be played Friday.
Later in the National League Divisional playoffs, Brantley will be describing the action for Reds' radio in Cincy's best-of-five series that begins Saturday in San Francisco, while Moore and the Washington Nationals begin their postseason run in the NL Divisional playoffs Sunday against either St. Louis or Atlanta.
Brantley, a sixth-round draft pick of the San Francisco Giants in 1985 after his four-year career at State, is in his third season as a broadcaster with the Cincinnati Reds Radio Network. During a stellar 14-year Major League career, the righty from Birmingham, Ala., earned MLB All-Star honors in 1990 and registered a National League-leading 44 saves with the Reds in 1996. He holds the MSU record for most pitching wins in a career (45) and, during MSU's run to the 1985 NCAA College World Series, in a season (18).
Left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm (13-11, 3.67 ERA, 189 IP) has carded a career season-most 13 wins pitching for the Chicago Cubs and the Atlanta Braves in 2012. Born in Greenwood, Miss., Maholm is in his eighth MLB season. He pitched at State from 2001 to 2003 and was a first round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003.
Chris Maloney (1980-83), in his first season as first base coach with the St. Louis Cardinals, is in his 25th season in professional baseball. Following his MSU career, the Jackson, Miss., native played four seasons in the New York Mets and St. Louis Cardinals organizations and then began a 20-year run managing minor league teams, all but three of those seasons in the St. Louis organization.
Amory, Miss., native Mitch Moreland is in his third season in the Majors, all with the Texas Rangers. The left-handed hitting first baseman/outfielder sports a .275 batting average with 15 home runs and 50 RBI with Texas. The Rangers drafted Moreland in the 17th round in 2007 during MSU's run to the 2007 College World Series.
Tyler Moore, a native of Brandon, Miss., is the latest Diamond Dog to advance to pro baseball's highest level. The Nats' first baseman/outfielder hit a team-leading 14 home runs at MSU in 2008, his lone season with the Diamond Dogs and signed with the Washington Nationals as a 16th round draft pick. Moore has compiled a .263 batting average with 10 home runs and 29 RBI in 75 games this season.
Buck Showalter, whose single-season MSU-record .459 batting average set in 1977 still stands, is in his 14th year season as a manager in Major League Baseball. He's skippered the New York Yankees (1992-95), the Arizona Diamondbacks (1998-2000), the Texas Rangers (2003-2006) and the Baltimore Orioles (2010-12). The DeFuniak Springs, Fla., native was honored as the American League Manager of the Year in both 1994 and 2004.