The Baltimore Orioles are signing the son of a former big league regular to a contract as an undrafted free agent.
Dalton Hoiles, son of Baltimore Orioles great Chris Hoiles, is being signed to an undrafted free agent contract on Sunday and will be assigned to Single-A Aberdeen, according to the Hanover Evening Sun, who spoke to Hoiles on Wednesday.
Hoiles has spent his life not far from the only team that his father played for. The younger Hoiles grew up in Spring Grove, graduating from Spring Grove Area High School in 2014 before attending Shippensburg University.
Dalton is listed as an outfielder on the Shippensburg website. He is a career .337 hitter, with 22 home runs, 152 runs batted in, 55 doubles, 138 runs scored and a .984 fielding percentage. Dalton also added 23 stolen bases as a 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds.
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In 2018, the younger Hoiles hit .362 with 10 home runs and 22 doubles, both career highs.
Dalton was an All-Region outfielder as a senior and led Shippensburg offensively in batting average, home runs, RBIs, doubles, runs and on-base percentage.
Hoiles’ 22 doubles led the Atlantic Region, and also tied the Shippensburg single-season school record.
Hoiles received several postseason awards for his performance on the field for Shippensburg in 2018.
The elder Hoiles, father Chris, played all ten years of his career for the Orioles, from 1989-1998.
His best season came in 1993 when he hit .310 with 29 home runs for the Orioles. Hoiles was known for his ability behind the plate as well as beside it, as he had several years in the 1990s where he was the best fielding catcher in the American League, including 1997, where he did not make an error.
Hoiles is also known for two rare feats involving grand slams. He is one of 28 players to hit an ultimate grand slam, a grand slam with two outs in the ninth inning.
However, he is one of only two to hit a grand slam with two outs and a full count, with Alan Trammell being the other.
He is also one of only 13 players in baseball history to hit two grand slams in one game.
Hoiles went on to be inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame on August 26, 2006.
A few months later, Hoiles was named the first manager of the York Revolution, the team just up Interstate 83 that plays their games at 5 Brooks Robinson Way.
Hoiles coached one player with York who would join his former team, outfielder Tike Redman, who was signed in 2007.
In a way, the world of baseball came full circle for the Hoiles family on Monday.
According to the Evening Sun, Dalton was informed by Orioles Vice President of Baseball Operations Brady Anderson that the organization would sign him.
Anderson was the elder Hoiles’ teammate in Baltimore, and once was carrying the younger Hoiles around the clubhouse.
Now, the cynical baseball fan might ask if Dalton can really play.
As someone who used to live near Shippensburg and went to Millersville University, another state school in Pa., I can assure you he can.
The Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference, or PSAC, has sent teams to the championship game of the DII Championships two of the last three seasons. West Chester University won it all in 2017, and Millersville lost to Nova Southeastern in 2016.
Numerous PSAC athletes have gone on to play in the major leagues. Former Oriole David Lough‘s alma mater is now in the PSAC, although it wasn’t at the time he played for Mercyhurst.
Tim Mayza, a relief pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays, is a Millersville graduate.