Shawn Garrett, a Kinmundy, Illinois native, announced his retirement from professional baseball at the end of the 2008 season. Shawn spent his entire career in the minors.
Of course we have a special interest, not only because he's an alumni of the same grade school and high school that I attended, he's also our cousin.
Kinmundy (population 900) is your average small mid-western town with with the pride and values that come with it. Shawn's great-great-great-great-grandpa Garrett settled on a farm just northwest of Kinmundy back in the late 1820's, and his family has called it home ever since. Shawn has a ton of relatives that still live in the area including parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, and a whole bunch of cousins. Since Kinmundy is situated in the bottom third of Illinois, and is about 80 miles straight east of St. Louis, he naturally grew up an avid St. Louis Cardinals fan. Right there we knew he had good taste.
Shawn started out playing little league in Kinmundy, then played for South Central High School, the consolidated school of Kinmundy, Alma, Farina, and St. Peter. After graduation he went on to play college ball at Olney Central College in Olney, IL.
This picture was taken in August 2004 when we saw Shawn play in Colorado Springs, CO while he was with the Sky Sox.
Click here for Shawn's career stats.
Read about Shawn: A-Rodís 12 Steps Call for Home-Opener Benching: Scott Soshnick
Read about Shawn: Wizards Where R They?: Shawn Garrett
Read about Shawn in Tacoma (7/08): Shawn Garrett looks to help the Rainiers wherever he is needed
Read about Shawn on ESPN (8/08): Life of Reilly
Read about Shawn with the Phillies (3/06): Phillies prospects are optimistic
Our family has been fortunate enough to get to watch Shawn play on three different teams. We saw him in Lake Elsinore, CA, Tulsa, OK, and Colorado Springs, CO. Within a week of our family seeing him play in California (2001) and Tulsa (2004), he was moved up into the next level. Perhaps we should go visit him more often for good luck!
Kara and Tyler with Shawn when he was with the Storm team in Lake Elsinore, CA,
an affiliate team of the San Diego Padres in April of 2001.
See more pictures of Shawn at the other ballparks.
2004 Colorado Springs Trip
2004 Tulsa Trip
Connor and Tyler with Shawn in July 2004 when he played with the Tulsa Drillers, a AA team of the Colorado Rockies.
DES MOINES, Iowa - Road trips often mean time closer to home for Shawn Garrett.
Garrett, the River Cats' right fielder, played in front of a small cheering section in Thursday's 12-10 win over the Iowa Cubs. Garrett's hometown of Kinmundy, Ill. is about seven hours from Principal Park. It's a big city of about 900," Garrett said. "My dad and my grandpa were here, and some friends of the family. They usually take vacation to see me play."
The drive was worth the gas money as Garrett went 2 for 3, raising his batting average to .296. Garrett, who played in the Colorado Rockies organization last season in Tulsa and Colorado Springs, found a home further away from home when he came to the two-time defending Pacific Coast League champions in November. "Everybody gets along really well here, and obviously there's a pretty good tradition from what's happened the last two years," Garrett said.
Garrett has never played in the big leagues and is not on the A's 40-man roster. Hope remains strong, but Garrett doesn't wait for the phone to ring.
"It still seems like a long shot to me, so I don't spend too much time thinking about it, and (I'll) let it be a pleasant surprise if it happens," Garrett said. "I feel like I have the ability to compete at that level. I think when you lose that hope, it can be real frustrating, but I still have that."
South Central High School website (Farina/Kinmundy, IL)
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Updated: 01/21/13 Comments? Dolores@ford-mobley.com