Point Park alum Don Kelly makes Detroit Tigers Opening Day roster again
April 5, 2012
Photo courtesy of Detroit Tigers.
PITTSBURGH – For the third year in a row, Point Park University baseball alum Don Kelly is on the Opening Day roster of the Detroit Tigers. Kelly, a native of Mt. Lebanon, Pa., was an NAIA First Team All-American shortstop in his final year with the Pioneers in 2001.
There was little to no doubt that Kelly would make the team this year as he has become an established Major Leaguer. He has gone north with the Tigers in 2010, 2011 and 2012 after earning a September call-up in 2009. Kelly has been on an Opening Day roster a total of four times in his career, the first being with his hometown Pittsburgh Pirates in 2007.
This past offseason, the Tigers successfully avoided arbitration with Kelly and re-signed him for a 1-year, $900K deal.
Kelly is a utility player who has appeared in 287 career games on the big-league level. He is slated to once again be a key bench player for the Tigers, who are one of the favorites in the American League
The 6-4, 190-pound Kelly has the ability to play anywhere on the diamond – even pitcher and catcher, as he did last year – but will see most of his time at the corner outfield spots and first and third base.
Kelly has been very consistent with almost identical numbers the last two years. In 112 games last season, he hit .245 with seven homers and 28 RBIs. In his career-high 119 games in 2010, he hit .244 with nine homers and 27 RBIs. For his MLB career, Kelly is batting .240 with 16 home runs and 58 RBIs.
A highlight of his 2011 season with the Tigers was a home run in Game 5 of the American League Division Series that helped sink the New York Yankees at Yankees Stadium.
Kelly was drafted in the eighth round of the 2001 draft by the Tigers. He spent three years at Point Park from 1999-2001, and he still holds the school’s career hitting record at .413. His best year at Point Park was as a junior in 2001 when he hit .450 with 45 RBIs and 39 stolen bases in 45 games.
Kelly was inducted into Point Park’s Pioneer Athletic Hall of Fame in October 2010. Tigers manager Jim Leyland attended the Hall of Fame induction ceremony on the Point Park campus.
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