Ray Kerr’s journey from Hug High School to Major League Baseball

RENO, Nev. (KOLO) – “I should’ve been done a while ago.”An admission from Reno’s Ray Kerr after reflecting back on his journey in life, and baseball.

“I went through foster care and all that,” said Kerr who played baseball at Hug High School. “A lot of failure. A lot of things keeping me down. But to me I just needed to keep going.”

On January 6, 2024 Kerr was back in his hometown to help with a youth pitching clinic. His story touching many at the camp.

After graduating from Hug, Kerr didn’t have any big-time offers. He went to a junior college in California. Two years later he was cleaning up popcorn at a Sparks movie theater and stocking shelves at 7-Eleven.


He was out of baseball.


“I was missing something in my life,” Kerr said of that time out of the sport. “I’m glad I kept going. It’s working out so far.”

A mentor he’d known for years got the head coaching job at Lassen Community College in Susanville. He convinced Kerr to enroll. Kerr’s foster mom, Lisa, paid for tuition.

But it was summer ball in Alaska where Kerr found success against Division-I talent. The Seattle Mariners and Miami Marlins took notice and came to Galena High School to watch a bullpen.

Kerr signed as an undrafted free agent with Seattle. Years later, he made his major league debut with San Diego.

“When (a coach) first called my name in the bullpen my heart jumped 1,000 beats per second. Me? Me? Let’s go!” Kerr remembered.

Kerr’s rise in velocity, and his unwavering confidence enabled him to stick at the highest level, and even strike out the likes of Philadelphia Phillies All-Star Bryce Harper.

Now Kerr’s an Atlanta Brave, from popcorn, to punchouts.

“No matter what life throws at you if you have a goal keep striving for that goal,” Kerr advised the kids at the pitching camp. “Don’t ever quit because you’re going to regret it in the future.”

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