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Guardians Behind The Dream – A Major League Host Family

Photo courtesy of Denise Stoneman

The journey to the major leagues for young players primarily goes through the minors. Only 23 drafted players have made the jump to The Show straight from the MLB draft. The guys often spend several years developing in the minors before reaching the majors after being drafted.

Guardians farm

The Cleveland Guardians farm system consists of Single-A Lynchburg Hillcats, Advanced Single-A Lake County Captains, Double-A Akron Rubber Ducks, and Triple-A Columbus Clippers.

Prior to 2021 and the introduction of the MLB Draft League, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers were part of the Guardians’ farm system. The Scrappers were the only affiliate to have host families.

Since the Scrappers’ Inaugural season in 1999, families in the Mahoning Valley had the opportunity to host and provide a supportive atmosphere for Cleveland’s prospects.

The support system for the young players is imperative to their success. In this series of the “Behind the Dream” I am going to give insight into a host family’s experience.

The Stonemans

Photo courtesy of Denise Stoneman

The Stoneman family were longtime baseball fans who attended Scrappers games regularly with their two sons.

One night they were seated next to a host family who introduced them to the idea. They decided to give it a try and have hosted 16 boys of summer between 2013 and 2019.

They did not host in 2020 as there was not any minor league play due to COVID. As the Scrappers were eliminated as a short season team, they are no longer hosting.

Host sons

Of the 16 players they hosted, four have made it to the majors, one was traded to another organization, a few were released and two retired from baseball. Currently five of these are in the Guardians’ minor league system. Three now play with the Guardians…Ernie Clement. Kirk McCarty and Sam Hentges.

I attended Malone College to pursue a Journalism career in Politics...I have found that writing about Sports is a lot more fun! I am an avid NBA, MLB & NFL fan. Find me on Twitter @nats_sportschat

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Lynnette Sul

    September 8, 2022 at 5:46 am

    Mahoning Valley was not the only team to provide host families. The Lynchburg Hillcats also had host families. My husband and I were one of these families. We began hosting in 2012 and loved every minute of it.

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