Lexington Legends fans still have the team’s parent club and four former Legends to root for in major league baseball’s postseason.
The Legends major league partner, the Kansas City Royals, along with former Legends Terrance Gore, Bud Norris, Jimmy Paredes and Hunter Pence will be part of major league baseball’s League Championship Series.
The Royals, with whom the Legends have been affiliated the last two seasons, are making their first appearance in the postseason since they won the 1985 World Series. Gore, who stole 68 bases for the Legends just last year, is on the KC roster as a pinch-running specialist. Since making his major league debut August 31, Gore has stolen eight bases in eight attempts.
The Royals are matched in the American League Championship Series against the Baltimore Orioles, who have two former Legends on their roster. Veteran right-hander Bud Norris, a Legend in 2007, was 15-8 with a 3.65 ERA in 28 starts for the Orioles this year.
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Infielder-outfielder Jimmy Paredes, a former Royal, batted .302 in 18 games with the Orioles this season. Paredes played in 34 games for the Legends late in the 2010 season after being traded July 31 by the New York Yankees to Houston, the Legends’ major league partner at the time. Paredes was part of the deal that sent longtime Houston star Lance Berkman to the Yankees. With the Legends, Paredes took over at second base for Jose Altuve, who had been promoted to advanced-A Lancaster. Altuve and Paredes both reached the majors with Houston in 2011. Altuve was the American League batting champion, and stolen base leader in 2014, and led the majors in hits with 225.
Paredes remained in the Astros organization through the 2013 season before being claimed by Miami on waivers during the off-season. Before the 2014 season began, Paredes was claimed by Baltimore and then Kansas City. He played in nine games with the Royals and 65 with their triple-A affiliate in Omaha before being acquired by Baltimore for cash considerations July 24.
On the National League side, Legends fans can follow Hunter Pence of San Francisco as the Giants take on the St. Louis Cardinals. Many major leaguers were not obvious candidates to make it to the top when they were in class A, but that wasn’t the case with Pence. He was a star for the Legends in 2005, when he batted. 325 with 25 homers and 60 runs batted in in 80 games before being promoted.
The American League series begins Friday night in Baltimore; the National League series starts Saturday night in St. Louis.