Brian VanderBeek

Beek’s Blog: Featherston and Oberg latest Modesto alums to reach majors

Two former Modesto Nuts reached their dreams of reaching the major leagues last week, and one of them registered a statistical rarity.

On April 12, Taylor Featherston, who manned second base for the Nuts in 2013, started at second base and hit ninth for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in a home game against Kansas City.

Featherston would go hit hitless in three at-bats with a strikeout as the Angels dropped a 9-2 decision, so Featherston’s debut was not quite auspicious.

That wasn’t the case for Scott Oberg, Featherston’s Modesto teammate in 2013, who two nights later pitched the fifth inning for the Colorado Rockies in their 4-1 victory over the Giants in San Francisco.

Since Rockies’ starter Christian Bergman (Modesto, 2012) didn’t go the requisite five innings to qualify for the win, it was up to the official scorer to give the win to the reliever who was most effective and he gave the nod to Oberg in his major league debut.

The strange thing? Oberg made 109 minor league appearances before reaching the majors and won exactly one game. He was Modesto’s closer and tied the franchise record of Scott Baker (2009) with 33 saves while going 1-6 with a 1.86 ERA.

Oberg made two more relief appearances with Colorado before being sent back to Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday.

There have been 2,534 players who toiled in the California League en route to the major leagues, with 304 of them having played for Modesto.

My thanks, as always, to California League historian Chris Lampe, who keeps track of such things.

Bee staff writer Brian VanderBeek can be reached at bvanderbeek@modbee.com or (209) 578-2150. Follow him on Twitter @modestobeek.

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