Former Point Park player Kelly makes Detroit Tigers roster for second year in a row
March 29, 2011
Photo courtesy Detroit Tigers
LAKELAND, Fla. -- Donnie Kelly, a former NAIA All-American at Point Park, hit .321 this spring and will head north with the Detroit Tigers for the second year in a row. This will be the third time in his career that he has made a big league roster on Opening Day. He also made the Pittsburgh Pirates for Opening Day 2007. The Mt. Lebanon, Pa., native played shortstop at Point Park from 1999-2001 and was inducted into the Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2010.
Kelly spent the entire 2010 season with the Tigers, and it was the first time in his career that he spent a full season in the big leagues. Kelly hit .244 last year with nine home runs and 27 RBIs. He made numerous highlight-reel defensive plays, and he saw time at center field, left field, first base and third base. At the plate, he came on strong at the end of the year with a .288 batting average in September.
During the 2009 season, Kelly was named the Player of the Year for the Triple-A Toledo Mud Hens after ranking second in the International League with a .331 batting average. He ranked third in the league with a .404 on-base percentage. Kelly was named to the International League All-Star team and earned a September call up by the Tigers in 2009.
Kelly, 31, is a native of Mt. Lebanon, and he resides in Wexford, Pa. Drafted in the 8th round of the 2001 draft by the Tigers, Kelly is the only position player from Point Park to make it to the majors. Kelly has spent parts of three seasons in majors, and he made his big-league debut with his hometown Pirates in 2007.
Kelly earned NAIA All-American honors when he hit .450 with 45 RBIs and 34 stolen bases in his final season at Point Park (2001). He still holds the Point Park record for career batting average at .413.
Read more here: Leyland pleased with make up of roster
Kelly's MLB bio (courtesy Detroit Tigers)