Tag Archives: Todd Linden

Say hey, Willie B. goes deep one more time with young fan watching

Willie Bloomquist, leading off and playing shortstop for the Arizona Diamondbacks, got his regular season off to a good start on Friday night, leading off the first inning with a single off San Francisco’s Tim Lincecum and scoring on a Chris Young home run. Bloomquist added another hit in Arizona’s 5-4 win over the Giants.

But it was Wednesday’s final spring training game that made the hair stand up on Willie’s arms. Abe Chase, the 12-year-old fan who called a home run by Bloomquist in a game against the Giants last June, was in the stands at Chase Field and the South Kitsap grad and Port Orchard native responded with another homer — his first of the spring. “I might have to buy you season tickets if this continues,” Bloomquist texted Chase.Read the story here.

In case you missed the original story, here it is.

Other updates on Kitsap’s baseball pros:

Aaron Cunningham (South Kitsap) entered the game as a pinch-runner and was 0 for 2 for the Indians in a 7-4, 16-inning loss to Toronto.

Jason Hammel (South Kitsap) opens the year as the No. 3 starter in Baltimore’s rotation. He’ll make  his first start on Sunday. Look for a story on Monday as The Sun  has contracted with a freelance writer to cover Hammel’s debut.

Drew Vettleson (Central Kitsap) is 3 for 7 with two walks and an RBI in his first two games with the Bowling Green (Ky.) Hot Rods, the Tampa Bay Rays’ Class A team in the Midwest League. The outfielder is hitting No. 2 in the order.

Jared Prince (North Kitsap) of the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders was 1 for 3 with a double against the parent Texas Rangers in an exhibition on Wednesday. He faced Yu Darvish in his first at bat, popping up to second. Prince, playing right field and batting  No. 5 in the order is 0 for 8 after two regular-season games.

Todd Linden (Central Kitsap) started at first base and was at No. 4 in the batting order in the first two games for the Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies, a San Francisco affiliate. Linden, a former first-round pick by the Giants, is trying to resurrect his career. He’s 1 for 9 after two games. Linden and Grizzlies come to Tacoma for a four-game series, April 21-22-23-24.

Todd Linden back in camp with the Giants

The San Francisco Giants used the 41st overall pick in the 2002 draft to select Todd Linden in 2002.

They gave up on him in 2007.

Now, 10 years after he signed that first contract with the Giants, comes word that the Central Kitsap graduate is back in the Giants’ minor league spring training camp in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Strange world we live in.

Linden, 31, signed a minor league contract with the team that once considered him a “can’t miss” prospect, a possible replacement for Barry Bonds.

This would be one of the great comeback stories of all time if Linden can work his way back into a major league uniform.

The odds are against him, but the the switch-hitting outfielder is coming off a monster year … in something called the North American Baseball League. He was the MVP of the Independent League, leading Edmonton to the league title. He hit .355 with 14 home runs, 79 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 88 games.

I wrote this story about Linden in October of 2011. The theme: Would anybody notice what Linden did in the NABL? Would he ever get another shot, a fair shot to get back to the big leagues?

Aftet the Giants let him go, he played with the Florida Marlins, and spent time in the minors with the Oakland A’s, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees. He also spent parts of two seasons playing in Japan.

And now he’s back where he started, wearing a Giants’ uniform. It must be a strange, exhilarating time for Linden.

Here’s hoping he gets a fair shot. Here’s hoping that he plays his way back on to a big-league roster. How can you not pull for him?