OGDEN, Utah — Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Kenley Jansen: they are some of the stars of this year’s World Series, and they all got their professional start in Ogden.
“To see how far they’ve come from the day they started with us to where they are now, you know, it’s really cool to watch the game,” said Dave Baggott, President of the Ogden Raptors.
The Ogden Raptors are the single-A affiliate for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Ten players on the Dodgers played in Ogden, and five of them are on the active roster for baseball’s biggest championship.
In 2012, a young Corey Seager ran out onto Lindquist Field in Ogden. Wednesday, he hit a home run in Game 2 of the World Series to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead early on.
“It’s just awesome seeing this talent come through Ogden,” said Justin Anderson, the city engineer for Ogden and a Raptors and Dodgers fan.
Seager would go on to be the National League Rookie of the Year in 2016. The likely rookie of the year for 2017 is Dodgers first baseman Cody Bellinger.
“Cody Bellinger, from day one, you knew was going to be something special,” Baggott said.
Whether the players are first round draft picks with millions of dollars already in the bank, or immigrants from Latin America chasing a baseball dream: every Raptor player develops a close tie to Ogden.
“All of ours (players) lived with what we call host families where they’re members of the community,” Baggott said.
It may be a long way from Ogden to Los Angeles, but the connection the former Raptors have made is bringing a little bit of the World Series to Utah.
“It’s kind of fun to every year come out and kind of pick who’s going to be the next superstar out of this group,” Anderson said.