There’s a name familiar to baseball fans on the 2021 Crushers roster. If you know Topps produces baseball cards, you’re almost certain to know Shawon Dunston Jr.’s dad, the Crushers’ fast center fielder and the first batter.
Shawon Dunston has carved out a long career in the major leagues and has been a two-time star. He’s probably best known for being the No.1 pick in the 1983 MLB Draft – taken by the Chicago Cubs. A shortstop by trade, he presented a pistol for one arm and a surprising pop at the plate, which explains his 150 career homers. He played part of the 1998 season with Cleveland but was traded mid-season to San Francisco. Dunston Jr., was five at the time and was in Cleveland with his father when the business declined.
“I came here and he was traded to San Francisco. So me and him headed back to the Bay Area. It was traded in July I’m pretty sure. I was only five years old, ”said Dunston Jr.
Dunston Jr., took up baseball, although the older Dunston wanted the younger to focus on basketball.
“I loved baseball. I told my mom I was going to be a great player, ”said Dunston Jr.
Hanging out in major league clubs and good genes produced a much sought-after teenage prospect at Dunston Jr., when he was a senior at Christian Valley High in San Jose, Calif. The Cubs ended up plucking him in the 11th round of the 2012 draft. He turned down a scholarship to Vanderbilt to begin his professional career. He played in the Cubs organization from 2012 to 2017, never topping Class A before his release.
Dunston Jr., 28, is hoping to get another shot with a major league franchise. Staying healthy has been a problem. Dunston Jr., 6-2, 195 pounds, suffered hamstring injuries and was sidelined early in the season with the same injury.
“It’s part of baseball,” said Dunston Jr.
Its excellent speed allows it to track balls hit in the gap. At home plate, his speed definitely helps his ability to reach base. He broke some cavities to get to base in a recent streak with Schaumburg. He also stole 15 goals, a team high.
“He’s a prototypical top hitter with speed who can steal goals,” Crushers manager Dan Rohn said of Dunston Jr., “He just has the ball in play and remains healthy. “
Rohn was a teammate with Dunston Jr.’s father when these two were members of the Cubs organization. This relationship led to Dunston Jr. ending up in Avon as a member of the Crushers.
This is just one of the many connections of the Crushers team. Crusher right fielder Isaac Benard is the son of former San Francisco giant Marvin Benard, who was also a teammate with elder Dunston. Dunston Jr. and Benard were batboys with the Giants one year, Dunston Jr. said. “I’ve known Isaac since he was five or six,” said Dunston of Benard, who is one of the best hitters in the world. the Frontier League.
Dunston Jr. doesn’t spend his summer driving buses and living in Avon for fun. He still has strong dreams of playing in MLB.
“It’s always my goal,” said Dunston.
And he hopes a solid finish with the Crushers can help him achieve that goal.
“I’m trying to stay warm and end the year on a high note for myself. The team’s goal is to make the playoffs and go from there and obviously we want to make it a championship year, ”said Dunston.