Greg Booker

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Gregory Scott Booker

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Biographical Information[edit]

[His career] has to be the most blatant display of nepotism I've ever seen first hand... Nobody held this against Greg. He was one of the more popular players on the team." - Steve Fireovid, from The 26th Man with Mark Winegardner

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/BB ratio for the Reno Silver Sox, yet was promoted to Triple A the next year and made his major league debut in September 1983, despite going 5-6, 5.45, with 68 walks and 58 strikeouts for Las Vegas. Greg made 161 appearances in eight seasons, primarily as a Padre. He finished 5-7 with a 3.84 ERA in 264 innings.

After his playing career, Booker was the pitching coach for the Burlington Indians in 1992, 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 from 2010-2013.

Booker is the son-in-law of Jack McKeon and brother-in-law of Kasey and Kelly McKeon. His son, McKeon's grandson, Zach, was a first baseman and catcher in the minors. Greg's major league career is unexplainable without the family relationship: Booker had rough 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. Even with the family ties to "Trader Jack", McKeon dealt him to the Minnesota Twins for Freddie Toliver in June 1989.

Booker passed away in 2019 at age 58 due to melanoma [1].

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