World Series Pitcher Not Turning His Back On Iowa Roots

 

DALLAS CENTER, Iowa --  The brand new custom-built baseball scoreboard in Dallas Center-Grimes is more than meets the eye.  "Pretty fitting how it sets now with his name is on the scoreboard," said DC-G baseball coach Byron Peyton.  It's a  description Peyton uses to describe DC-G alum and current Los Angeles Dodger Tony Watson.  "The times I was around him you just felt this guy is going to stand on a major league mound someday," said Peyton.

Since Watson's graduation he has been a Nebraska Cornhusker, a Pittsburgh Pirate, an All-Star and perhaps World Series champion if L.A. can defeat the Houston Astros.  "I think his roots run deep here at this high school.  I think he's proud of his time spent here," Peyton said.  It is a school that Watson clearly hasn't forgotten about after he and his wife Cassie's donated $25,000 to help build the scoreboard and brand new batting cages.  Peyton said, "That's exactly the way he is.  Very giving and kind in every way."

Being a big league pitcher hasn't changed Watson.  His humbleness at his high school jersey retirement in 2016 gave the community and young athletes inspiration.  Peyton said, "They looked up to him and he's inspired them to pursue that and been a great model."

Now, being in Dodger blue has given way to the ultimate opportunity  "I think there is one thing on his mind now and that's helping the Dodgers win that thing and get that ring," said Peyton.

While baseball may take him far away to throw his go-to sinker pitch, coach Peyton says his impact is always felt right where it started, at home.  "Every time you see him on television you swell with pride and say that guy is from our school."

The last Iowa-born pitcher in the World Series was Michael Wacha in 2013. Wacha was born in Iowa City.  The last Iowa High School alum to win a World Series game, according to the Society for American Baseball Research's Iowa Chapter would be Mike Boddicker.  Boddicker graduated from Norway High School and defeated the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 2 of the 1983 World Series.

In 2013, while on Injured Reserve, Norwalk native Joel Hanrahan won a world series with the Boston Red Sox.