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History's great September sizzlers

9/7/2001

Carlos Pena. Tim Spooneybarger. Corky Miller. Josh Fogg. A week ago, they were all faceless minor-league prospects, guys you might know from a "Future Stars" article or a mention in a John Sickels column. In three weeks, though, any of them might be in the books as having the kind of month of which legends -- or at least great Strat-O-Matic cards -- are made.

The annual September roster expansion affords a handful of minor leaguers a chance to make an impression on the big club for next season. Some of the callups, like the Marlins' Josh Beckett, are top prospects giving us a taste of greatness to come. More are like the Pirates' Humberto Cota, hoping to put together 50 good at-bats and get a leg up on a job in 2002.