Grizzlies sign first baseman to roster

News-DemocratApril 21, 2014 

— The Gateway Grizzlies have signed first baseman Ben Waldrip to the 2014 roster.

Waldrip, 23, was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 10th round of the 2012 MLB Draft. The Medford, Mass., native spent two years in the Rockies organization, playing at Rookie Ball in 2012 and Low-A Tri-City and Single-A Asheville in 2013. Waldrip hit 10 home runs in 48 games during the 2012 season in the Pioneer League.

"We were looking for an experienced first baseman and Ben certainly fills that void," Grizzlies eighth-year Manager Phil Warren said. "He's a big first baseman with a lot of power."

Waldrip played his final two years of college at Division I Jacksonville State University. In 103 career games with JSU he batted .337 with 28 home runs and 107 runs batted in. Waldrip belted 18 home runs during his senior season in 2012, which was good for fourth in the nation at Division I. He also drove in 61 runs in 53 games.

Waldrip played played in the prestigeous Cape Cod Baseball League for Kelly Nickerson on the Orleans Firebirds in 2011. He was named as the Cape Cod Baseball League starting first baseman on the Eastern Keivision All-Star team, played at historic Fenway Park that summer. He received the prestideous 10th man Manny Rabello Award, which is presented to one player who has come through in the clutch all year and gone above and beyound what is asked, as selected by the league's coaches

Waldrip finished the season second in the league with home runs (6) and third RBI (23) after batting .276.

"Ben has the chance to come here and make an immediate impact," Warren said. "We feel like he will be a big part of our team this season."

Waldrip was drafted in the 42nd round (1,274th overall) by the Atlanta Braves in 2010 but he did not sign. He was drafted in the 40th round (1,206th overall) by the Kansas City Royals in 2011 but again, he did not sign.

The Grizzlies 2014 regular season opener is on May 16 when they take on the Traverse City Beach Bums in the friendly confines of GCS Ballpark.

Season and group tickets are on sale now.For more information call 618-337-3000.

Broadcast team

Gateway's Adam Young, the "Voice of the Gateway Grizzlies" has announced Sam Levitt will be joining him on the broadcast team for the upcoming season.

Levitt is a recent Northwestern grad. He will be the No. 2 broadcaster, and also be the media relations assistant and GTV talent for the upcoming season.

Levitt will be on the air with Young for all home games and select road contests.

Levitt most recently spent two seasons as a play-by-play broadcaster in the Cape Cod League. While at Northwestern, he broadcasted nearly a dozen different B1G sports and served as sports director of WNUR-FM.

Levitt grew up just outside of New York City.

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