Baseball On My Brain

The words just keep coming…looking at the 5/19/08 ESPN: The Magazine
May 24, 2008, 7:25 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Page 29 of the 5/19/08 issue of ESPN: The Magazine makes my teeth hurt. Not just because it’s a picture of Oregon State’s Braden Wells getting hit in the face with a baseball, but because it reminds me of all the times I saw a guy by the name of Tony Hurtado get hit when I was in college.

“Hurt” set the NCAA Division I record for most times hit by a pitch – 92 times in 221 games, which stood until this season when it was broken in April of this year by Brett Lilley of Notre Dame, who by my count ended up finishing with 108 HBPs, which would set the mark across all divisions of the NCAA.

It kind of became a dubious thing to be known for – the guy who wouldn’t get out of the way of a baseball, but at the same time, became a rallying point for the team and fans. On the team at the same time was Tagg Bozied, who went on to play professionally and as of this minute is at Triple-A Albuquerque. Tagg was the NCAA homerun champ in 1999, which provided an interesting contrast between the slugger and the guy who would wear a pitch whenever he could.

Oh, the memories.

Back to the magazine — nice piece on the Mariners’ Bob Christofferson…he’s the head groundskeeper at Safeco Field. It’s a short piece, but it gives you just a little glimpse of insight into the world of groundskeepers and the work they do that can influence the game. There’s a book called Level Playing Fields that does a great job explaining it in more detail, if you’re so inclined to read about it.

The Elijah Dukes story is also pretty engaging…sadly he’s been on the DL most of the year and only has 30 ABs as of now, which he’s only managed to generate a .111 average, no HRs and a lone RBI. With all the good news about Josh Hamilton in Texas who has seemingly conquered his demons, it would be nice to add Dukes to the storyline as well.


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