From Arizona to Florida and points in between, five participants in the 2017 World Series can credit Catholic high schools for helping in their development as major league players (and, in several cases, as All-Star selections).
The Los Angeles Dodgers have two such products, starting with veteran outfielder Andre Ethier, who attended St. Mary’s High School in Phoenix prior to Arizona State University and a professional baseball career that has included two All-Star games, 162 homeruns and a .285 career batting average. A member of St. Mary’s class of 2000, Ethier is perhaps the most famous of the diocesan high school’s sporting alumni, who also include former big league catcher Terry Kennedy, current free agent pitcher Brian Matusz and pro basketball player Channing Frye.
The other Catholic high school alum playing for the Dodgers is infielder Logan Forsythe, a 2005 graduate of Christian Brothers High School in Memphis, a Lasallian all-male institution. A first-year Dodger after playing with San Diego and Tampa since 2011, Forsythe was preceded to the majors by fellow Christian Brothers alum Tim McCarver, a former All-Star catcher and Hall of Fame broadcaster, and two notable professional golfers: the late Cary Middlecoff, a two-time U.S. Open champion, and 2003 PGA winner Shaun Micheel.
For the Houston Astros, the most noteworthy Catholic high school graduate is 2015 Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel, a 2006 graduate of Bishop Kelley High School in Tulsa, a coeducational Lasallian institution. Keuchel’s fellow Kelley alumni include longtime major league catcher Charlie O’Brien, who was instrumental in developing the hockey goalie-style catcher’s mask now in widespread use, and Emmy Award-winning actress Alfre Woodard.
Lance McCullers, who saved Game 7 of the American League Championship Series and is a 2012 graduate of all-male Jesuit High School in Tampa, Florida, which has produced recent big-leaguers Shane Robinson (’03), Sam Dyson (’06) and Kevin Quackenbush (’07). The school’s more famous baseball products, though, may be Hall of Fame manager Al Lopez, who once played for the Brooklyn Dodgers and twice managed in the World Series (1954 and 1959), and 1961 graduate Lou Piniella, who hit .291 in an 18-year playing career, managed the Cincinnati Reds to the 1990 World Series title, and managed the Seattle Mariners to a record-tying 116 wins in 2001.
Finally, there is Evan Gattis, catcher-infielder with the Astros after coming to the majors through the Atlanta Braves’ organization, and is a 2004 graduate of Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas, a diocesan institution. Gattis, who overcame drug addiction, depression and anxiety disorder to reach the majors, is probably Bishop Kelly’s most famous sports alumnus; a non-sports alum of note would be Bishop Michael Duca (class of 1970), the bishop of Shreveport, Louisiana, since 2008.