Posted on 23. Mar, 2009 by in All, General Baseball.


Dernell Stenson 2003

Dernell Stenson 2003

In November of 2003, Cincinnati Reds Outfield Prospect Dernell Stenson was killed while playing in the Arizona Fall League in Phoenix.  He was found dead on a residential street shot, and apparently run over by a car.  Some five and a half years later, Stenson’s presence is still felt in the Cincinnati Reds organization.

Stenson, who was 25 at the time, had made his Major League Debut that season for the Cincinnati Reds, playing in 37 games for the Reds batting .247 with three homers and 13 RBI.  Following the season, Stenson was chosen by the Reds to take part in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions.  The AFL is designed to help develop some of baseball’s top prospects and is respected as a great honor to be asked to play.

Stenson was hitting .394, third-best in the league, in 18 games in Arizona and showed terrific promise.  He was a third-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox in 1996, staying in their system until 2003, when the Reds claimed him off waivers during spring training.

During the 2003 season, Stenson hit .306 with 14 homers and 76 RBI in 101 games at Double-A Chattanooga and batted .237 with five homers and 14 RBI in 17 games at Triple-A Louisville.  On Aug. 13, Stenson was called up by the Reds. Three days later, he doubled twice and singled against Houston in his first big league start.

Stenson’s minor league roommate during the 2003 season was catcher Brian Peterson.  Peterson, who has bounced around since, is back in minor league camp this spring with the Cincinnati Reds.  Peterson talks about the spring following Stenson’s death when he was invited to big league camp in 2004.

“I was sitting in the clubhouse minding my own business, when a clubhouse attendant told me that I was wanted upstairs in the office.  I thought that it could be bad news and maybe I was getting sent down to minor league camp or even released.”  When Peterson got upstairs, he entered the office of a partial owner of the Cincinnati Reds at the time, a name he cannot remember.  He told Peterson to sit down and presented him with two of Stenson’s game jerseys.

Dernell Stenson Jersey in Brian Peterson's Locker

Dernell Stenson Jersey in Brian Peterson's Locker


Peterson said he was touched by the gesture, as he and Stenson had gotten close during the previous season. Peterson had even spoken at Stenson’s funeral just several months earlier.  Wanting to make sure Stenson’s family was taken care of, he presented them with the red jersey, but kept the black one for himself.


The black game jersey of Stenson’s has followed Peterson around ever since.  He says that he, “always hangs it in my locker as a memory of my friend.”  This spring as Peterson tries out to make a Reds minor league club, the black Stenson game jersey hangs in his locker for him and everyone else to see each day at the minor league complex in Sarasota, Florida.

Dernell Stenson’s jersey in Brian Peterson’s locker

4 Responses to “Dernell Stenson’s Memory Carries On”

  1. Andy says:

    Great story.

    Hope you’re doing well.

  2. reds super fan says:

    thanks for geting back to me about the cars. Say whats the feeling around the club house on how the Reds will do this season. Corey u must love the game an working at camp
    must be a great job could u tell me what u do there with the REDS. Wish u all the best

  3. Corey says:

    The feeling around the Reds clubhouse this year seems very positive, and very young. A few older veterans who were with the team have moved on, and the 40 man roster for the Reds has gotten much younger. Guys seem to be having a great time and talking about how good the starting rotation could be.

    As for me, I assist in handling the minor league clubhouse during spring training. I make the sure the players, coaches, and staff have all the proper resources that they need to prepare for the season from equipment and uniforms to balls and bats. In the near future, I will be leaving Sarasota, to head to Dayton to prepare for the season up there.

  4. larry waldrop says:

    hi. i played with dernell in high school. hardly a day goes by that i don’t think about him and what the future held for him. he was murdered 2 days after my mother passed away so i will never forget where i was when i heard the news….please hit me up on my email address…

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