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2006 Semi-Finals Dunwoody beats Columbus

Dunwoody broke a 33-year drought with its Class AAA Finals sweep of Columbus in 2007.

The Dunwoody Wildcats ended a 33-year drought of baseball state championships for DeKalb County Schools by bringing home the Class AAA state title in 2007 with a 2-0 sweep of Columbus.

The last Georgia High School Association baseball state championship to find a home in DeKalb County Schools before 2007 came back in 1974 when Henderson laid claim with a 2-0 series sweep of Southwest Macon.

DeKalb County Schools had come up short since that time despite sending some very good teams into the playoffs. Prior to 1974, DeKalb had won titles in 1952 (Avondale), 1956 (Tucker), 1964 (Avondale), 1966 (Tucker), 1967 (Tucker), 1968 (Walker) and 1972 (Sequoyah).

Redan made sure it would not take 33 years for the next title as the Raiders knocked off rival Marist 2-0 (11-0, 4-3) in the 2013 championship series on the way to setting a school record for wins at 30-7 on the season.

It gave the perennial playoff contender, Redan, its first baseball state title as the Raiders upended the Marist War Eagles who had won the Region 6-AAAA title with a 2-1 series win over the Raiders. Redan went 10-1 in the state playoffs while sweeping four of the five playoff series.

Beginning with the 1952 season, DeKalb County Schools teams have combined for 129 playoff appearances through the 2007 season. Eighteen of the current 19 DeKalb schools have made at least one playoff appearance following Martin Luther King Jr.’s rise to 5AAA champ in 2004. Gordon and Shamrock, two of the seven schools that are no longer high schools, were the only ones of the 26 DeKalb schools to never make a playoff appearance prior to the opening of Miller Grove High School in 2005. The playoff run has collected 211 wins over that time as well.

The baseball history of DeKalb County Schools also includes the likes of former pros Wally Joyner (Redan), Pete Ladd (Henderson) and Ron Blomberg (Druid Hills).

Wally Joyner played 16 seasons in the majors with the California Angels, Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres and the hometown Atlanta Braves. He collected a .289 career batting average, 204 home runs, 1,106 RBI and 2,060 hits.

Ron Blomberg was the first player picked in the 1968 major league draft. He signed with the Yankees and spent eight years in the majors with New York and the Chicago White Sox. The .293 career hitter was baseball’s first designated hitter.
Pete Ladd led Henderson to the 1974 state title and signed with Ole Miss. He had a career best 25 saves for Milwaukee in the 1983 season and posted two saves in the 1982 American League Championship Series.

DeKalb County Schools has been a hotbed on draft day with 75 players drafted between 1985 and 2006. That includes three from the 2004 season including first round and number 9 pick overall Chris Nelson of Redan (Colorado) and four from 2006 including Scott Hunter of M.L. King in the 3rd round (San Diego, 93rd pick) and 2005 second round selection P.J. Phillips of Redan (California, 73rd pick).

Redan’s Brandon Phillips (Cincinnati) and Dominic Brown (Philadelphia) gave the Raiders a double-dip as both appeared in the 2013 MLB All-Star Game. Phillips was making his third appearance and first as the starting second baseman for the National League. Brown, an outfielder, was chosen for the National League squad after leading the league in home runs before the All-Star break.

State Champions (10)

  • Tucker (3) – 1956, 1966, 1967
  • Avondale (2) – 1952, 1964
  • Dunwoody (1) – 2007
  • Henderson (1) – 1974
  • Redan (1) – 2013
  • Sequoyah (1) – 1972
  • Walker (1) – 1968