The San Luis Obispo Blues started in 1946 when a group of World War II veterans who returned home wanted to play baseball. Since then, a few players who have worn the Blues jersey have gone on to have success in Major League Baseball. We have put together list of some of the best players to come through SLO, in no particular order.
- Chuck Estrada – The right handed pitcher, who was born in San Luis Obispo and attended Atascadero High, played for seven seasons for three different teams including the Baltimore Orioles, the New York Mets and the Chicago Cubs. Estrada broke on the scene as an All-Star in his first MLB season (1960) and finished his career at age 29 with a 4.29 ERA. He was also the AL Pitcher of the Year in his rookie year when he led the league with 18 wins. Estrada played for the SLO Blues in 1956.
- Matt Garza – The hard-throwing right-hander who currently pitches for the Milwaukee Brewers last played for the Blues in 2002. Garza, 31, made his debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2006 and had stints with the Tampa Bay Rays, Chicago Cubs and the Texas Rangers. He was the ALCS MVP in 2008 when the Rays defeated the Boston Red Sox in a seven-game series. The Selma native also threw a no-hitter in 2010.
- Brian Fuentes – Now retired from MLB, the left-hander spent most of his time as a closer with the Seattle Mariners, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics and St. Louis Cardinals. The 39-year-old Merced native was a four-time All Star and played for the Blues in 1995.
- Roy Howell – Howell never played for the Blues, but his managed them in 1999. A native of Lompoc, the now 61-year-old Howell played third base for 11 MLB seasons. In the ‘70s and early ‘80s he played for the Texas Rangers, Toronto Blue Jays and the Milwaukee Brewers. He was selected as an All-Star in 1979. He is currently a manager in minor league baseball with the Seattle Mariners AAA affiliate, the Tacoma Rainiers.
- Mel Queen – The right-handed pitcher and outfielder played nine MLB seasons. Queen played for the Cincinnati Reds and the California Angels and finished his career with a 3.14 ERA. After playing for the Blues in 1958-60, he is part of its Blues Hall of Fame. Queen died in Morro Bay in 2011 at the age of 69.
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