Madison, WI – Jan. 22, 2009. Outfielder Jordan Comadena, who played for the Madison Mallards from 2005 to 2007 & went undrafted out of Purdue University last spring, was signed this week by the Houston Astros as a free agent heading into the ’09 season thanks to—all kidding aside—his performance during last year’s third-annual Mallards/MLB Alumni Game that saw Comadena blast two run-scoring doubles to pace Maynard’s All-Stars.
The game, typically a laid-back affair pitting both young and old, famous and not, and big and small former collegiate athletes and Major League Hall of Famers, who on this day, came away impressed by one individual with a “funky” name in particular.
And no one came away from that game more impressed than former Houston Astros great Jimmy “The Toy Cannon” Wynn was. In fact, Wynn, who is listed as a Community Outreach Executive on the Astros official website, went back to Houston and recommended to General Manager Ed Wade that he sign Comadena. Perhaps Wynn saw a bit of himself in watching the also height-challenged but strong youngster play hard for each out—he too was signed as a free agent, in 1962.
“I’ve always had a vision of playing professional baseball one day but I never thought I’d get my break the way I did,” said Comadena.
Wynn played 11 seasons in Houston from 1963-73 and ranks among the top 10 in almost every significant Astros career hitting category.
Comadena owns Mallards team career batting records in runs scored (119) and walks (89), and single-season records in runs scored (54), walks (54), and at-bats (259). He also remains the only player in the franchise’s eight years to have played all 68 games when he reached that mark in 2006.
What about a message to youngsters?
“I would say to respect the game of baseball and it will take care of you. You never know who’s watching so as cliche as it sounds, you always truly need to play every out as if it’s your last. If you put in the necessary time and effort and don’t cut corners good things will happen,” added Comadena.