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Point Park baseball alum Don Kelly makes Opening Day roster for sixth time

March 31, 2014 at 1:45 p.m. ET

Don Kelly 2014 FH


DETROIT -- For the sixth time in his career and the fifth year in a row with the Detroit Tigers, Point Park University baseball alum Don Kelly has made the Opening Day roster in Major League Baseball.

Kelly, 34, who was an NAIA First Team All-American at Point Park from 1999-2001, is on Detroit's 25-man roster as it opens the 2014 season March 31 at home versus the Kansas City Royals.

Making the Opening Day roster is nothing new for Kelly, who is a veteran utility player. He hit .316 with two home runs and 10 RBIs in 16 spring training games this year to secure a roster spot, the first time under new Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. 

Kelly, who in the offseason was signed to a 1-year, $1 million contract, is listed on the Tigers' depth chart as the top backup at all three outfield positions and also the top sub at third base. At first base, he's behind Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

Kelly has been on Detroit's Opening Day roster every year since 2010. He has been a part of the Tigers' playoff teams the last three years with three straight trips to the ALCS and a World Series appearance in 2012.

Kelly hit .222 with six home runs and 23 RBIs in 2013. He had a cold hitting start to the season but hit .281 over the final three months of the regular season. In 474 career games of Major League service, Kelly has a .229 average with 23 homers and 88 RBIs.

After being drafted in the eighth round of the 2001 MLB draft, Kelly made his big league debut on the Pittsburgh Pirates' Opening Day roster in 2007.

Kelly hit .413 during his career at Point Park from 1999-01. That still ranks as the all-time hitting record at the school. In 2010, he was inducted in the Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame. In his final year at Point Park, Kelly hit .450 with 45 RBIs and 39 stolen bases in 45 games to grab the attention of scouts.


Don Kelly bio on MLB.com

Don Kelly PPU Career Notes