ST. LOUIS–Before they became St. Louis Cardinals, Jason Motte, Luke Voit, Harrison Bader, Tommy Edman and others toiled in minor league towns, including State College Pennsylvania, where they were Spikes. Oliver Marmol managed there too. The club played in the New York-Penn League, a short-season Class A league that would start in June and end in September. The Cardinals were affiliated with the team in 2006, and then from 2013 until 2020, when the minor league system was reorganized and the NY-P disappeared.
In its place rose the MLB Draft League, a league that showcases draft-eligible players between May and August. While the affiliation may have changed, a St. Louis native playing for the new Spikes showed one fan this summer that you don’t need to be a pro to make an impression.
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Cheeley, a Lutheran South alum, spent the past two seasons at Middle Tennessee State after starting his career at Jefferson College. He’ll pitch as a senior at the University of Missouri in the spring.