MAC Baseball Alums: Northern Illinois

Chris Trotman

The pro talent pool who went to NIU is meek at best.

It's safe to say that Northern Illinois is not exactly a baseball school, by virtue of the fact that none of their major league players were taken in the draft. It's been 10 years since someone sniffed the majors, and that was with one of the most pathetic teams in MLB history. The only person in "recent" history would be Fritz Peterson, who pitched for 11 seasons and made one All-Star game with the Yankees in 1970 and won 20 games that year. And it's sad to say that few, if any, players are close to becoming the next major leaguer at this rate. Lots of players are in independent league ball, although they do boast one star overseas.

But they do have a couple of very notable alums in Major League Baseball, just not as players. One of them is Larry Young, who umpired for 25 years before retiring in 2007. The other is Ned Colletti, general manager for the Los Angeles Dodgers. And isn't everyone's dream job to spend millions of dollars of someone else's money?

Northern Illinois Huskies draft history at Baseball-Reference
Last MLB Player: Brian Schmack, Tigers, 2003
P Name Drafted 2012 Team 2013 Team Comments
RHP Brad Allen N/A Ind. League Florence Freedom Arizona Diamondbacks organization Allen spent a season at NIU before transferring to Arkansas State. He had a pristine 1.07 ERA in 33 2/3 innings of work last year with the Freedom, earning him a minor league contract with the D'backs.
LHP Jake Hermsen 2012, 28th rd Dodgers Rookie League Ogden Raptors ?
LHP Matt Jernstad N/A Ind. League Windy City ThunderBolts Same Jernstad is listed on the ThunderBolts' inactive list.
LHP Chuck Lukanen N/A Ind. League Sioux City Explorers ?
1B Joe Mazzuca 2003, 12th rd Italian Baseball League T&A San Marino Same Mazzuca didn't make it beyond A ball with the Marlins in 2004, but is in his eighth year playing pro ball in Italy for three different teams. He helped San Marino to their second straight Italian Series title last year as well as being their top slugging hitter.
RHP Brian Smith N/A Ind. League Joliet Slammers Ind. League Windy City ThunderBolts At age 26, Smith actually retired from competition at the beginning of this year and will be the Thunderbolts' pitching coach this year.
UTIL Bobby Stevens 2008, 16th rd Braves High-A Lynchburg Hillcats Ind. League Somerset Patriots Stevens played eight different positions in the Braves organization (except catcher) even pitching in a few games. But Stevens' time with the Braves has ended and he's among the litany of independent leaguers now.
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