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Lexington County’s Famous Sporting Connections

Lexington, SC 09/15/2022 - Down in the shadow of Lake Murray, Lexington County's always taken the sporting life seriously. For instance, we're welcoming over a dozen teams of the finest fisherman from around the globe this October for the Bass Fishing World Championship. The Bassmaster Elite Series has announced they'll be returning to Lake Murray after over a decade away. On dry land, the fish are pretty good too, with the Lexington County Blowfish baseball team being awarded CPL Organization Of The Year for the third time in 2022. We're proud of our alumni like Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Wil Crowe; JP Sears has made a stunning start to his pro career with the Yankees. But what of our hometown heroes? Let's have a look at some sporting stars from right here in the 803. Brett Jodie A Lexington lad and another former Yankee, Jodie's early athletic career saw him as both a pitcher and a quarterback, and there was talk of colleges recruiting him either way. However, after baseball at the University of South Carolina, he was called to the big leagues by the New York Yankees in the sixth round of the 1998 MLB Draft. These days, Brett's a long way from SC - he's swapped palmetto trees for cornfields and has signed on for a second campaign as manager of the Lincoln Saltdogs in the state capital of Nebraska.

Duce Staley From just over in West Columbia, another Gamecock alumnus can still be found in the NFL today. Duce clocked up nearly 6,000 rushing yards and over 2,500 receiving yards between seven seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles and three with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After hanging up his helmet, he returned to Philly as their special teams quality coach, working his way up to assistant head coach after impressing as the running backs coach. He's now assistant to Dan Campbell at the Detroit Lions. He still pays particular attention to his own position though, and has tasked D'Andre Swift with becoming the double threat that Duce was as a player. Campbell and Staley have gotten some fight back into a franchise that had become forlorn under Matt Patricia – the latest Coral football odds figure they're still a ways off Aaron Rodgers' Packers, but they've caught up with the Chicago Bears. Will Duce be wearing a Super Bowl ring next time he's back in SC for the offseason? Maybe not, but he'll be bringing some heat into a chilly Detroit December. D.T. Cromer D.T. - or David Thomas, to give him his Sunday name - starred for the Gamecocks and went on to be a star for the Cincinnati Reds after being traded from his drafting team, the Oakland Athletics. In the 2000-2001 season, he logged 7 home runs and 20 RBIs across 85 games. After turning down a berth in one of Cincy's AAA minor league affiliates, he went from the Atlantic coast all the way across the Pacific to play for the Nippon-Ham Fighters in Hokkaido, Japan. Family and connections are important to D.T. - his big brother Tripp played for the Dodgers, Astros and Cardinals, and his son David is now a sophomore outfielder at South Carolina. He now lives back in Lexington, where he enthusiastically reps our local teams - you might catch him at a Blowfish game.


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