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Greg Booker

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Gregory Scott Booker

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Greg Booker was signed as a 10th round pick in the 1981 amateur draft by the San Diego Padres and scout Kelly McKeon. In 1982, he went 8-13, 6.35 with an 81/157 K/W ratio for the Reno Silver Sox, yet was promoted to AAA the next year and made his major league debut in September of 1983, in spite of going 5-6, 5.45, with 68 walks and 58 strikeouts for Las Vegas.

After his playing career, Booker was the pitching coach for the Kinston Indians in 1993 and 1994 and the Canton-Akron Indians in 1995. He was a San Diego Padres bullpen coach from 1997 to 2001 and pitching coach from 2001 to 2003. He later served as pitching coach for the Asheville Tourists in 2004 and 2005. After serving as a scout for the Colorado Rockies, Booker returned to the diamond as pitching coach of the Syracuse Chiefs in 2010-2013.

Booker is the son-in-law of Jack McKeon and brother-in-law of Kasey McKeon and Kelly McKeon. His son (and McKeon's grandson), Zach Booker, is a 1B/C in the minor leagues. His major league career is unexplainable without the family relationship: Booker had terrible statistics in the minor leagues, which would have gotten any other pitcher his unconditional release, and he never did anything in the major leagues to justify his presence in The Show. His former teammate Steve Fireovid says in his book The 26th Man: "[His career] has to be the most blatant display of nepotism I've ever seen first hand". But he adds: "Nobody held this against Greg. He was one of the more popular players on the team." Which may explain his long coaching career after his playing days.

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