Brian Specht at shortstop for the Arkansas Travelers in 2003.
Brian Specht was once a top-prospect shortstop in the Angels’ minor league system. Baseball America ranked him in 2000 as the Angels’ #3 prospect.
According to BA, the Angels gave Brian a $600,000 signing bonus to keep him from going to Baylor University where he intended to pursue a medical career.
Injuries, unfortunately, derailed his baseball career. Brian was named the outstanding rookie in the Angels’ 2004 spring training camp, but injuries the next three years took their toll and he retired in the middle of the 2006 season.
Brian returned home to Colorado Springs for a life in the normal world. His family has kept me apprised of his doings.
Last night I was told that Brian will graduate on May 21 summa c*m laude with a B.A. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Biology. He will begin medical school in August at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver.
I’ll always remember Brian as the 19-year old who reported to Advanced Class-A Lake Elsinore in May 2000 from extended spring training as an emergency filler for the Storm shortstop who’d gone on the disabled list. Brian went on a tear, hitting .429 in May while performing thrilling feats of defensive derring-do. I was sitting one night in the stands behind home plate with Angels’ farm director Darrell Miller in the row behind me. After Brian got yet another hit, I turned to Darrell and said, “Can we keep him for at least a little while before you move him up?!”
Life isn’t fair, and Brian’s baseball life wasn’t fair to him, but in the medical world he’ll make a much bigger contribution to humanity than playing baseball. But if he’d stayed healthy, today he might be a star Angels shortstop. What might have been …