Matt Stocco was on the class-A Lake Elisnore team in the San Diego Padres system in 2008.
Before the regular season began the Padres and the Anaheim Angels hosted a home-and-home series. So farmhands Ernesto Frieri, Stocco, a catcher from Guelph, and two others were back-up Padres reinforcements from the minors.
They first made the trip to San Diego and then to Anaheim, where Greg Maddux would work a couple of innings before starting the third game of the Padres season.
“I knew all the catchers from catching bullpens,” said Stocco this week about his brush with Hall of Fame greatness. Maddux, along with former Atlanta Braves teammate Tom Glavine, manager Bobby Cox, slugger Frank Thomas, plus managers Tony La Russa and Joe Torre will be inducted in Cooperstown July 27.
“They told me (Maddux) didn’t want young guys catching him, even during bullpens because he was always working on things,” Stocco said.