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GFI alumni returns to the field after stint in major leagues
Over the long history of Grand Forks International (GFI) baseball thousands of players from North America and beyond have displayed their talents at James Donaldson Park before thousands of fans.
Hundreds of these athletes have been drafted and signed by Major League organizations. Close to forty have made it to the ‘Big Show’ but many who didn’t take that final step to fulfill their dream of playing in the Majors experienced many years of professional baseball before being released.
Rarely has a GFI alumnus returned to Grand Forks to once again participate in this great tournament. We have just received word that Chris Kissock, 2007 ninth round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies, will be on the roster of the Trail Orioles at the upcoming tournament. He was officially released by the Phillies on August 3.
Chris is a right-handed pitcher who was at the GFI in 2004-2006. He attended Lewis Clark State College for three years where he had an outstanding college career, registering 26 wins and only four losses.
After being drafted by the Phillies he spent six seasons in the Minors; his most effective year was 2010 when he split 47 games between Clearwater, Florida and Double A in Reading, Pennsylvania. He finished the year with a combined Earned Run Average (earned runs allowed per 9 innings) of just over three.
The tall right-hander, who was raised in the West Kootenays, also claims some additional successes. Last year he was selected to the roster of Canada’s national team. This team won a bronze medal at the World Cup in Panama, only the second time in 73 years they had medalled at the event. From there it was on to the 2011 Pan Am Games in Mexico where Canada made baseball history by winning the gold medal for the first time. With these back to back medal performances, they became the most successful team in Baseball Canada’s history.
With the above successes, Chris, along with his teammates, were inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in June of this year. When he received the news Kissock remarked, “It is pretty awesome. It’s not all the time you get named into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.” [It should be noted that two other GFI Alumni were part of this distinguished team, Emerson Frostad and Mark Hardy.]
There was yet another significant attainment in his career. He was part of the 2006 NAIA College World Series winning team – the Lewis Clark State Warriors. As a result he is in the U.S. Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
The GFI looks forward to welcoming back Chris Kissock, celebrating his achievements in baseball, and once again watching him compete at James Donaldson Park.