Commerce Cabinet
Gov. Fletcher Honors Kentucky's Current Major League Baseball Players

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, January 10, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Gov. Ernie Fletcher and Sen. Brett Guthrie today honored the 22 current Major League Baseball players who call Kentucky home. The governor celebrated their accomplishments and noted the athletes exemplify the idea behind Kentucky’s Unbridled Spirit.

“These athletes embody Kentucky’s ‘Unbridled Spirit,’” said Governor Fletcher. “They have the spirit to dream – to dream to be great; to achieve what very few individuals are able to accomplish. Their unbridled desire helped them reach the top – no holding back – no half-hearted efforts.”

“As a part of the philosophy behind the state’s Unbridled Spirit – Kentucky cherishes its champions – that is part of what we are doing here today,” said Senator Brett Guthrie (R-Bowling Green).

 Kentuckians played part of the 2005 Major League Baseball season include:

Chris Burke, 2B-OF, Houston Astros (Louisville St. Xavier H.S.)
Steve Finley, OF, traded to San Francisco Giants from Anaheim (Paducah Tilghman H.S.)
Andy Green, OF, Arizona Diamondbacks (Lexington native/Lexington Christian H.S./UK)
Corey Hart, OF, Milwaukee Brewers (Bowling Green native/Greenwood H.S.)
Austin Kearns, OF, Cincinnati Reds (Lexington native/Lafayette H.S.)
Brad Wilkerson, OF-1B, traded to Texas Rangers from Washington (Owensboro Apollo H.S.)
Matt Anderson, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Louisville St. Xavier H.S.)
Joe Blanton, RHP, Oakland Athletics (Franklin-Simpson H.S./UK/lives in Bowling Green)
Paul Byrd, RHP, recently signed by Cleveland Indians (Louisville St. Xavier)
Aaron Cook, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Fort Campbell native)
Scott Downs, LHP, Toronto Blue Jays (Pleasure Ridge Park H.S.)
Matt Ginter, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Winchester native/George Rogers Clark H.S.)
Kevin Jarvis, LHP, St. Louis Cardinals (Lexington native/Tates Creek H.S.)
Jason Johnson, RHP, Detroit Tigers (Conner H.S.)
Trever Miller, RHP, Tampa Bay Devil Rays (Trinity H.S.)
Jon Rauch, RHP, Washington Nationals (Oldham County H.S./Westport, Ky./Morehead State)
Kirk Rueter, LHP, San Francisco Giants (released in August; Murray State U.)
Ryan Speier, RHP, Colorado Rockies (Frankfort native)
Steve Stemle, RHP, Kansas City Royals (Western Kentucky U.)
Brandon Webb, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks (Ashland native/Ashland H.S./UK)
Todd Wellemeyer, RHP, Chicago Cubs (Louisville Eastern H.S./Bellarmine U.)
Rick White, RHP, recently signed by St. Louis Cardinals (Paducah C.C.) 

Gov. Fletcher and Sen. Guthrie presented each of the players in attendance with a Kentucky Colonel certificate and a commemorative autographed Louisville Slugger bat which was created for the occasion.

More than 250 Kentuckians have played in the majors, including Hall of Famers U.S. Senator Jim Bunning (who has the second most career victories of any pitcher with a Kentucky connection), Pee Wee Reese and Earle Combs.