Sheffield: An origin story

By DJ Eberle - [email protected]er.com
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders southpaw Justus Sheffield sports a 1-2 record and 3.03 ERA in seven Triple-A starts. - Louriann Mardo-Zayat file photo | Pawsox

MOOSIC — He’s seen it everywhere.

“Justus Sheffield is the nephew of former major leaguer Gary Sheffield.”

It’s been on the back of baseball cards. In the newspaper. On the Internet. In fact, if you Google “Justus Sheffield,” “Justus Sheffield Gary Sheffield” is often listed second.

Except, there’s a catch. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starting pitcher isn’t related to former major leaguer. Not even in the slightest.

“I have people ask me all the time if I’m related to Gary,” Sheffield said in Monday’s episode of Riding The Rails. “I actually had one of my first rookie cards that got printed, on the back of it said I was Gary Sheffield’s nephew. I’ve had it (happen) ever since I was younger.”

It all started in eighth grade.

Sheffield and his brother, Jordan, were late running late to their baseball game home in Tennessee. They were out to lunch with their grandparents and there was miscommunication about the start time. The two brothers showed up just as the game was starting.

With Justus batting first and Jordan slotted right behind him, the two laced up and grabbed bats. They’d hit back-to-back home runs right then and there.

The following day Sheffield would pick up the newspaper and his life would change forever.

He read the game story that former major leaguer Gary Sheffield, who was listed as the to be the two brothers’ uncle in the article, was on hand for the affair.

It’s something that Justus Sheffield has had to correct ever since.

“It was just like, where? I have no clue where those people got it from, but that’s kind of where it sparked up,” Sheffield said.

Even though it’s still a hassle, Sheffield continues to correct people who mistake him as the nephew of the former New York Yankees outfielder.

Mainly because Sheffield knows what it’s like to have people say they’re related to him when they’re not.

“It’s kind of like, where I’m from, my hometown, I have people who come up to me and tell me I’m their cousin and I don’t even know them,” Sheffield said. “There’s no telling what he probably thinks if I’m going around say I’m his cousin or nephew, claiming to be him. I just tell people I’m not related to him.”

Sheffield hasn’t even met the member of the 500-home run club. He’s only seen him play.

But the southpaw would like to meet the elder Sheffield one day.

Dury named Batter of the Week

RailRiders third baseman Brandon Drury was named the International League Batter of the Week on Monday.

The honor comes after Drury hit .471 with a home run and 11 RBI over the last week. He led the IL in hits, with 16, over the stretch.

While Drury saw his steak of 32 games on-base come to an end, snapping his RailRiders record, the 25-year-old continued to rake for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He brings a five-game multi-hit streak back to PNC Field when the RailRiders kick off a three-game series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs on Tuesday.

“Yeah, it’s impressive. Isn’t it? It is to me,” RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell said of Drury’s on-base streak. “It’s impressive that he’s able to do what he’s done. At the beginning, he was hitting, whatever, three-something, and was still having a little bit of an issue (with his vision and migraines) here and there. It’s really good that to see that he’s not having any issues and he’s able to control what’s going on. I think that’s the main thing because you don’t want that affecting the rest of his life and whatever he has after baseball.”

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders southpaw Justus Sheffield sports a 1-2 record and 3.03 ERA in seven Triple-A starts.
https://www.timesleader.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/web1_Justus-Sheffield-1-2.jpgScranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders southpaw Justus Sheffield sports a 1-2 record and 3.03 ERA in seven Triple-A starts. Louriann Mardo-Zayat file photo | Pawsox
SWB pitcher discusses misconception about last name

By DJ Eberle

[email protected]

PODCAST

Listen to Justus Sheffield’s entire interview in the latest episode of Riding The Rails. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders starting pitcher joined host DJ Eberle for Monday’s podcast.

Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle

Reach DJ Eberle at 570-991-6398 or on Twitter @ByDJEberle