Brian Traxler dead at 37

Brian Traxler, 37, died November 19 in San Antonio, Texas following a short illness. Traxler played in the Dodger minor league system for eight years and in 2000 he became a hitting a minor league coach for the Dodgers.

He was drafted in the 16th round of the 1988 amateur draft by the Dodgers after being drafted out of the University of New Orleans. Traxler also spent parts of six seasons with the Albuquerque Dukes of the Pacific Coast League (AAA) and played the 1994 season for the Fukuoka Daiei Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League.

He picked up the name "Curley" somewhere along the way, alluding to the ‘Curley, Larry and Moe' slapstick trio. At 5-10, 225 and sporting a buzz cut, he looked the part but he wasn't funny to opposing pitchers when he had a bat in his hand.

During his six-year career, 1988-1993, in the Dodger minor leagues he was a hitting machine, racking up numbers such as .346 in San Antonio, .301, .303. .333 and .357 in AAA Albuquerque.

He made it to Los Angeles briefly in 1990 but got only 11 trips to the plate to prove he could hit in The Show and came away with just one hit, a double, although he did slam a second double during his short trial but it and the game was washed out of the record books.

Traxler played with the RedHawks in the Northern League in 1996, batting .335 with 16 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs, 75 RBI and 73 runs scored in 83 games. In 1997, Traxler batted .298 with 12 doubles, three home runs, 37 RBI and 29 runs scored in 42 games.

Following his time with the RedHawks, Traxler played with the Sioux Falls Canaries of the Northern League and the Somerset (N.J.) Patriots of the Atlantic League.

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