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Former Express infielder, pair of pitchers nominated for club’s hall


The Round Rock Express announced three candidates Monday to become thefifth inductee into the club’s hall of fame this summer: infielder Brooks Conrad and pitchers Kirk Saarloos and Chris Sampson.

Conrad, now a coach in the Kansas City Royals’ minor league system, holds the franchise record for games played, appearing in 519 from 2004 to 2007. He was a Texas League All-Star and the team MVP in 2004, and his final season with the Express included 22 home runs, 61 extra-base hits and 70 RBIs.

Before spending two full major league seasons with the Atlanta Braves, Conrad set Express career records for at-bats (1,963), runs scored (353), hits (507), doubles (136), triples (27), extra-base hits (243), total bases (937) and RBIs (304).

Sampson spent parts of five seasons with Round Rock. Among Express pitchers with at least 150 innings, Sampson ranks as the career leader for ERA (2.64). A Texas Tech alum, Sampson was the Express pitcher of the year in 2006, and he posted a 20-15 record and a 4.42 ERA across five major league seasons, appearing in 174 games, all with the Astros.

Saarloos appeared in just 13 games for the Express, but he was spectacular, compiling a 10-1 record and a 1.40 ERA in 2002. Now the pitching coach at TCU, Saarloos allowed one home run in 83 innings and had a 4-1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio during his brief time with the Express. SportsTicket tabbed Saarloos as its minor league pitcher of the year in 2002, and he went on to post a 29-30 record over parts of seven major league seasons.

The 2018 inductee will be determined by fan balloting along with input from the Express front office staff and current hall of fame members Jackie Moore, Roy Oswalt, Morgan Ensberg and Keith Ginter. Fan balloting continues through Friday at RoundRockExpress.com.



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