NEW CANAAN, Conn. -- There are hundreds of minor league teams in far-flung places like Casper, Wyo., Billings, Mont., and Orem, Utah, where Curt Casali might have begun his professional baseball career. Instead, the New Canaan native started his march to the majors right in his home state.
Casali, a catcher, was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 10th round of the Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft. After graduating from Vanderbilt University and making a run in the College World Series a few weeks ago, the New Canaan High alum signed a contract with Detroit and was assigned to the Connecticut Tigers of the New York-Penn League in Norwich.
The Tigers clearly believed Casali would make an immediate impact--they had the big righty batting clean-up in Sunday's home game against the Lowell (Mass.) Spinners. Casali went 1-for-4 in his professional debut, with a double to left field in the eighth inning. Connecticut won on a walk-off home run by Javier Azcona in the bottom of the ninth. According to published reports, members of Casali's family were in the stands.
Casali was scheduled to start in the heart of Connecticut's lineup again Tuesday in a doubleheader against the Spinners.
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