The El Paso Diablos have acquired Kelley Gulledge, 32, for their 2012 season with a first overall pick in the league dispersal draft. The Arlington, Tx native and catcher is no stranger to El Paso. After 4 seasons of visiting Cohen Stadium with the Fort Worth Cats, Gulledge will be making the jump to the home dugout. 2012 will mark Gulledge’s 12th season of professional baseball in which he has logged 1274 at bats in 389 games with 328 hits, 174 runs, 197 RBI, and 39 home runs.
Gulledge was selected to Baseball America’s 2011 Independent League All-Star Team. In 2011, Gulledge batted .339 with 14 home runs and 73 RBI in 372 AB. He scored 74 runs with 126 hits and 28 doubles. Gulledge was also named to the American Association’s postseason all-star team.
After playing for the University of Alabama and being named to the SEC All-Tournament teams in 1999 and 2000, Gulledge was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 10th Round of the 2000 Amateur Draft. Gulledge spent 2000-2003 with the Twins organization playing in the Midwest, Florida State, and Eastern Leagues making to AA with New Britain. Released by the Twins in 2003, Gulledge spent the remainder of the season with the Texas Rangers in the California League.
Gulledge then made a move to the Independent Leagues. For the 2004-2005 seasons, Gulledge joined the Northern League in Fargo-Moorhead where he was named the Northern League’s All-Star Catcher and the Independent Leagues First-Team All-Star Catcher both years. 2007 saw Gulledge’s first year with the American Association in Fort Worth’s championship team. Gulledge was named to the AA South All-Star Team, and earned All-Independent Second Team Honors from Baseball America following the season.
Gulledge was signed by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008, and spent the season in the Southern and Pacific Coast Leagues going as high as AAA. From 2009-2011, Gulledge returned to Fort Worth and the American Association.
The Diablos’ 2012 season may begin next May, but Cohen Stadium is host to Championship Boxing at the Ballpark on November 11, 2011. This event will be aired live on Showtime with the main event featuring Las Cruces’ Austin “No Doubt” Trout and Frank Loporto for the WBA World Light Middleweight Championship. Ticket prices are $10 for General Admission, $20 for Lower Level Reserve and $50 for Ringside Seats. To purchase tickets, visit Speaking Rock Entertainment Center, Cohen Stadium, Diablos.com, or call 915-755-2000.