The Colorado Rockies are giving a former Aurora prep baseball star a chance.
Though many moves the club has made recently haven’t been well-received, the Rockies announced Thursday via social media that it had signed first baseman Greg Bird — who starred at Grandview High School — to a minor league contract that includes an invitational to compete in Spring Training.
Bird was an absolute masher while in a Wolves uniform — where he was a catcher and part of a battery that included another MLB player in Kevin Gausman, who currently pitches for the San Francisco Giants — and won Colorado’s Gatorade Player of the Year award for the 2010-11 season. The left-handed slugger hit .553 with 12 home runs 38 RBI as a senior.
He passed up his commitment to the University of Arkansas for a professional baseball career that has been plagued with injuries.
Bird made his big league debut with the New York Yankees in 2015, then missed all of 2016 following surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, He was limited to a .190 average in 48 games in 2017 after fouling a ball off his right ankle and a .199 average in 82 games the following year following ankle surgery.
The Texas Rangers signed Bird to a minor league deal last February, but released him in August, and he signed with the Philadelphia Phillies. He tested positive for COVID-19 in his physical, however, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer and never appeared in a game.
Bird was also active with Grandview’s Unified sports teams and came back to serve as an honorary coach for a Unified basketball game in 2017.
— Sports Editor Courtney Oakes