@PPUBaseball alum Don Kelly on Opening Day roster of Miami Marlins
April 6, 2015 at 2:30 p.m. ET
MIAMI -- Point Park University has a place in Major League Baseball's Opening Day happening around the country today.
Pioneers alum Don Kelly has made the Opening Day roster of the Miami Marlins, the first time with his new team and the seventh time in his career that he has made a 25-man roster out of spring training. The Marlins host the Atlanta Braves today at 4:10 p.m.
Kelly, 35, is Point Park's all-time leader in career batting average as a .413 hitter for the Pioneers from 1999-2001. He is now in his 15th year of professional baseball and his eighth in the Major Leagues.
Kelly signed with the Marlins on Jan. 17, 2015 after being with the Detroit Tigers for the previous seven seasons. Although it was a new team and a new league, Kelly earned an Opening Day spot with the Marlins.
Kelly, who grew up in Mt. Lebanon, Pa., hit .270 (10 for 37) this spring and played all over the diamond to make Miami's 25-man roster. He recovered from an 0-for-8 slump the first few games of Spring Training to hit .345 (10 for 29) from then on. He totaled five RBIs, four walks, seven runs and two doubles.
He played all over the diamond this spring seeing action at first base, second base, third base, shortstop, left field and right field. The only active player in the MLB who has played all nine positions during his career, Kelly made the Marlins' roster in part because of his versatility.
Kelly is currently listed on the Marlins' depth chart as a backup at third base and center field. He figures to be a top backup at the corner infield positions as well as a bench option in the outfield. Miami's fourth outfielder is future Hall of Famer Ichiro Suzuki, signed 10 days after Kelly inked with the Marlins.
Kelly was drafted in the eighth round of the MLB draft by the Tigers in 2001. He made his big league debut on the Opening Day roster with his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007. He was a September call up by the Tigers in 2009 and then made Detroit's roster out of spring training every year from 2010 to 2014. For his MLB career, Kelly is hitting .232 with 23 home runs and 95 RBIs in 569 career games.
Kelly was a 2010 inductee into Point Park's Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame. He hit .413 (177 for 429) in 129 career games for Point Park. His best year was as a junior in 2001 when he hit .450 (68 for 151) with 45 RBIs and 39 stolen bases in 45 games. That year, he was named the shortstop on NAIA First Team All-America team and also the American Mideast Conference Player of the Year.
For videos, stats and information on Don Kelly with the Miami Marlins, visit the team website.