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Royals' Raul Mondesi could make major league history

Royals' Raul Mondesi could make major league history
Royals rookie Raul Mondesi could become the first player to make his major league debut in the World Series. (Kyle Rivas / Getty Images)

It had been quite the calendar year for Raul Mondesi. Eight months after he was honored as National League rookie of the year, and two weeks after he had played in the All-Star game, he welcomed a son into the world.

The date was July 27, 1995. The son, also named Raul, grew up and tagged along with his father, a toddler scampering about the clubhouse at Dodger Stadium. The elder Raul Mondesi played seven years as an outfielder for the Dodgers, blessed with power, speed and a cannon for an arm.

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In all, Mondesi played 13 years in the major leagues — 1,525 games in the regular season, none in the World Series.

The son has played zero games in the major leagues. The Kansas City Royals added him to their roster Tuesday, and he could play in the World Series.

"It's very hard to do," Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain said, "the type of thing that comes along once in a lifetime."

Mondesi, 20, would be the first player to make his major league debut in a World Series. He said his father, now the mayor of the Dominican Republic city of San Cristobal, would fly to New York to attend the World Series games there.

The younger Mondesi has not played above the double-A level, but Kansas City Manager Ned Yost said the Royals like his ability to switch-hit, bunt, play second base and shortstop, and pinch-run. Mondesi took the roster spot of Terrance Gore, who was the Royals' celebrated designated runner last October but had appeared in only two games and stolen one base in their 11 postseason games this year.

"Gore is a tremendous base stealer, but he's kind of a specialist," Yost said.

Hair today, gone tomorrow

Jacob deGrom, who starts Game 2 for the New York Mets on Wednesday, attracts attention for more than his 98-mph fastballs. His hair flows freely out of his cap, in layers that descend onto his shoulders. To the dismay of his admirers, deGrom said Tuesday that he plans to cut his hair at the end of the season.

"It's driving me nuts," he said. "I've got to get rid of it."

Just add five

Juan Uribe started the season as the Dodgers' third baseman. In spring training, he told The Times: "I won my first ring in 2005. I won my second in 2010. Now, we're in 2015."

He won the first ring with the Chicago White Sox and the second with the San Francisco Giants.

The Dodgers traded him to the Atlanta Braves on May 27, after Justin Turner won the third base job. The Braves sent him to the Mets on July 24.

Uribe, 36, did not play in the first two rounds of the postseason because of a chest injury, but the Mets activated him for the World Series and removed rookie infielder Matt Reynolds from the roster.

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Uribe hit 14 home runs this season, including six in 128 at-bats for New York. The Mets see him as a power threat off the bench.

"When Ned looks at that lineup card and he sees Juan Uribe's name at the bottom of it, that's got to get his attention," Mets Manager Terry Collins said.

Short hops

If the Royals win the World Series, Yost would have more career postseason victories than Dusty Baker, Joe Girardi, Mike Matheny and Mike Scioscia. … The wife of Kansas City infielder Ben Zobrist is due to give birth Nov. 10. A potential Game 7 of the World Series is scheduled Nov. 4. … Mets rookie outfielder Michael Conforto is the third player to appear in the World Series, College World Series and Little League World Series. The other two were catcher Jason Varitek and left-handed reliever Ed Vosberg. Conforto played for Oregon State in the CWS and Redmond, Wash., in the Little League World Series.

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