Robby Atkinson / Special to the Star
The Meridian Star
MERIDIAN — The calendar has finally flipped to one of my favorite times of year and that is postseason baseball. The World Series is just around the corner and another season will come to a close at the end of the month, but the 2013 season for several former Meridian Community College stars was very successful.
The Eagles have taken much pride in producing players that have went on to have very successful professional careers and even one player has performed at his best on the national stage.
Cliff Lee, Tyler Moore, and Corey Dickerson just finished up the 2013 season with their respective organizations, but all three players wish they were competing on the field during October. Lee just finished his 11th season at the Major League level and has another impressive season with the Philadelphia Phillies. Lee finished with a 14-8 record with a team-low ERA of 2.87, to go along with 222 strikeouts. Lee was the most dominant pitcher once again for Philadelphia, but the team struggled overall during the 2013 season.
The Phillies experienced a list of injuries to key position players through the lineup and Lee was not given much run support in many of his starts. Lee has been without a doubt the best professional player to have played right here at Meridian Community College and his list of accomplishments is almost unmatched by most players standards at the top level of baseball.
Lee has a career pitching record of 139-86 and an ERA of 3.51, while collecting over 1,700 strikeouts. Lee has his best season in 2008 for the Cleveland Indians which resulted in a Cy Young Award where Lee was a 20-game winner for the Tribe. Lee earned several awards following his 2008 season.
These included the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award, the Players Choice Award for AL Outstanding Pitcher of the Year, The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award, The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award, and the Warren Spahn Award for best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. On December 15, 2010, Lee signed a free-agent contract with Philadelphia for 5 years and $120 million with a vesting option for a sixth year.
Lee will look to help the Phillies bounce back in 2014 after the Phillies finished in fourth place in the National League Eastern Division. Lee played baseball at MCC from 1997-1998 and was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in the 20th round of the MLB Amateur Draft that season.
The other two former MCC stars that enjoyed success at the Major League level were Tyler Moore and Corey Dickerson. Moore played most of his season at the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals and spending the remainder of his 2013 season with the Nationals. Moore made a splash on June 13, 2012 during a game against the Toronto Blue Jays, Moore hit his first two home runs of his Major League career and had five RBI. Moore has a career batting average of .242 at the Major League level and 14 home runs, to go along with 50 RBI.
Moore was a part of a Washington club that finished in second place in the National League Eastern Division behind the Atlanta Braves. Moore played at MCC from 2005-2006 and earned the Division II National Player of the Year honor while with the Eagles. Moore later played his college baseball at Mississippi State.
Dickerson might have had the best debut of any former MCC star during 2013 with the Colorado Rockies. Dickerson made his official MLB debut on June 22 and had two doubles in a victory over the Nationals. Dickerson spent much of the 2013 season with the Rockies and finished with a .263 batting average and five home runs. Dickerson was selected in the 8th round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Rockies and was named an All-American while at Meridian.
It is very easy to say that MCC is well represented at the Major League level and I have a very good feeling all three of these players have more great innings to shine for their teams. I know that all three wish they were playing in October right now, but I have no doubts they will all be playing for a World Championship at some point.