Dating back to the first National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot in 1936, the University of Arizona has never had a former player on the ballot.
This year, Kenny Lofton, a 17-year major league player, will be the first. He made his debut on the Hall of Fame ballot on Wednesday, Nov. 28.
The outfielder had a career .299 average accumulating 2,428 hits, 1,528 runs, and 622 stolen bases. He is ranked 15th all-time in stolen bases and led the American League five times in that category. Lofton won four Gold Glove awards and played in six All-Star games. He reached the playoffs in 11 of his 17 big league seasons, including two World Series appearances with the Cleveland Indians in 1995 and the San Francisco Giants in 2002.
Lofton was drafted out of Arizona by the Houston Astros in the 17th round in 1988. A point guard on U of A's basketball team, Lofton played baseball for only one season in Tucson. He appeared in five games, mostly as a pinch runner, and had one at-bat his junior year. His speed on the base paths is what got him noticed by another former Wildcat and then Astros scout Clark Crist.
According to Bill James’ Hall of Fame monitor Lofton’s chance of being selected into the Hall of Fame is “less likely” with a score of 91. Any player with a score over 100 is “more likely” to be chosen, while players under 100 are “less likely” to be selected.
Lofton’s biggest competition on this year’s ballot is former Montreal Expo Tim Raines, who was a...
The San Diego Padres traded former Arizona Wildcat pitcher Cory Burns on Wednesday, Nov. 28, to the Texas Rangers for a player to be named later.
Before the trade to Texas, the Padres designated Burns for assignment on Tuesday, Nov, 20.
The right-handed pitcher appeared in 17 games with San Diego in 2012, compiling a record of 0-1 with a 5.50 ERA. Burns made his major league debut on Saturday, Aug. 4, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings against the New York Mets. Burns spent most of the season with the Triple-A Tucson Padres where he had a 3.14 ERA and struck out 78 batters in 66 innings. He also had an impressive streak of not allowing a run in the eighth inning in 24 straight games for Tucson.
Burns was acquired by the Padres’ organization last winter from the Cleveland Indians.
University of Arizona alum, Trevor Crowe, signed a minor league deal with the Houston Astros on Tuesday, Nov. 27, with an invitation to spring training.
Crowe began this past season with the Cleveland Indians’ Triple-A affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. He batted .250 in 38 games before being released by the organization in July.
The outfielder then signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and played 42 games with their Triple-A affiliate, the Salt Lake Bees. With the Bees he hit .301, scored 26 runs, and stole ten bases.
Before 2012, Crowe had spent his entire professional career with the Indians’ organization. The former first round draft pick has appeared in 205 major league games compiling a .245 average with 160 hits and 29 stolen bases.
Dan Butler (Arizona Wildcat) was added to the Boston Red Sox 40-man roster on Tuesday, Nov. 20. The catcher batted .247 and threw out 38 base runners in his time with Triple-A Pawtucket and Double-A Portland in 2012.
Cory Burns (Arizona Wildcat) was removed from the San Diego Padres 40-man roster on Tuesday as he was designated for assignment. The right-handed pitcher had a 5.50 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 18 innings at the major league level.
Tucson Padres third baseman Jedd Gyorko was named on Tuesday a Topps Triple-A All-Star. Former Padre, Anthony Rizzo, was also named an All-Star.
Eric Berger (Arizona Wildcat) struck out ten batters in two starts this past week for Bravos de Margarita in the Venezuelan Winter League. Patrick McCoy (Sahuaro High School) earned his first win in the Dominican Winter League on Saturday, Nov. 24, by pitching a scoreless inning of relief for Gigantes del Cibao.
The stats below are for players with Tucson connections from games on Nov. 18-24. Go to the players listing for more information and links to the players. DNP = Did not play.
Dominican Winter League
Dan Butler... Toros del Este - [3 gms] 0/6, 2 ks
Patrick McCoy... Gigantes del Cibao - [4 gms] 2.0 IP, 2 hits, 2 bb, 2 k, win
Daniel Robertson (Tucson Padres)… Estrellas de Oriente - [3 gms] 1/12, run, sac, sb, cs, 5 k
Mexican Pacific Winter League
Jesus Castillo... Naranjeros de Hermosillo - [4 gms] 3.2 IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 4 ER, 2 HR, k,...
Two years since he last pitched for Palo Verde High School, Sergio Almeraz will be back on the mound in 2013, pitching in his first collegiate season with Illinois Valley Community College.
Almeraz was first contacted by the Eagles this past July and was excited about the education that IVCC offers their student athletes.
“It was the first offer I received and it seemed like a great opportunity,” said Almeraz.
The Eagles play in the Arrowhead Conference in Region 4 of the NJCAA Division-II level. The school is located in Oglesby, Ill., and is the former junior college of major league relief pitcher Clay Zavada.
Almeraz is not the only Palo Verde graduate to be playing for the Eagles next season. His brother Rodrigo and former Titan teammate Arturo Espinoza are also freshmen on IVCC’s roster. The three Tucson natives have been able to help each other during fall ball and adjust to college life in Illinois.
“Its been a great experience,” said Almeraz. “We help motivate and push each other to become better every day. “
The right-handed pitcher brings four types of pitches, two fastballs, a sliding curveball, and a splitter that he considers to be his best off-speed pitch, to the Illinois Valley’s pitching staff.
“I like to battle by trying to make the batter work for their at bats,” said Almeraz. “I work in a slow pace to try to get hitters off their rhythm.”
IVCC is coming off a 10-43-1 season in 2012 and played four games in...
Two former high school pitchers from Tucson faced off on the mound in the Arizona Fall League championship game on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Scottsdale Stadium.
Cincinnati Reds’ prospect Tim Crabbe earned the win for the Peoria Javelinas in a 4-3 victory over Salt River Rafters’ pitcher Ryan Perry of the Washington Nationals’ organization.
The Javelinas jumped ahead early with two runs off Perry in the first inning giving Crabbe an early lead to work with.
Crabbe, a graduate of Sabino High School, threw 2.2 innings surrendering three runs and two strikeouts. Perry, a former Arizona Wildcat and Marana High School alum, went three innings allowing four runs off eight hits. Both of the pitchers end their Arizona Fall League campaigns with 2-1 records.
The Arizona Fall League champion Javelinas had two other players on their team with ties to Tucson. Former Pima Aztec and Sunnyside High School graduate Stefen Romero and University of Arizona alum Kyle Simon were members of Peoria’s squad.
Click on the link below to view more pictures of the Tucson players from the championship game and the Arizona Fall League.
Arizona Fall League pictures
Jon Meloan (Arizona Wildcat) saved three games this week for Caribes de Anzoategui bringing his total to four in the Venezuelan Winter League this season. Patrick McCoy (Sahuaro High School) threw three scoreless relief appearances with two strikeouts this week for Gigantes del Cibao. McCoy's ERA is at 3.70 in the Dominican Winter League.
Ryan Perry (Arizona Wildcat/Marana High School) earned his second win in the Arizona Fall League on Monday, Nov. 12, throwing four innings for Salt River against Mesa. Jesus Cota (Pima Aztec/Sunnyside High School) hit a game-winning single for Algodoneros de Guasave over Mazatlan in the Mexican Pacific Winter League on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Two Tucson Padres players from 2012, Andrew Werner and Andy Parrino, were traded to the Oakland Athletics for right-handed pitcher Tyson Ross and infielder A.J. Kirby-Jones. Former Tucson Padres' Luis Martinez and Everth Cabrera participated in the World Baseball Classic qualifying round in Panama this weekend. Martinez played for Columbia and Cabrera was a member of Nicaragua's team.
The stats below are for players with Tucson connections from games on Nov. 11-17. Go to the players listing for more information and links to the players. DNP = Did not play.
Arizona Fall League
Tim Crabbe… Peoria Javelinas - [2 gm] 2 start, 5.2 IP, 11 hits, 7 runs, 7 ER, 3 bb, 3 k, win
Ryan Perry… Salt River Rafters - [2 gm] 2 start, 7.0 IP, 11 hits, 5 runs, 5 ER, HR, 5 bb, 2 k, win, loss
Southern Arizona Rock n Roll Winter Classic
December 1 & 2, 2012
Registration: $250.00 + 2 Game Balls per Game
Games: 4 Game Guarantee
Site: Mehl Park
Age Group: 10U
Coach Cell#:______________ Home #:______________________
Send Payment and Registration to:
5332 East Lee Street
Tucson, AZ 85712
Questions Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or at 520.401.1023
Registration Deadline November 21, 2012
Fall baseball at the college level can be an intense time for new players. They have to adjust to the full schedule of college athletics that includes morning workouts, class, practice, and homework. The reward for making it through the fall practices and learning to balance their time can be a roster spot in the spring.
For freshman outfielder Sam Brown his incentive for working hard this fall is an opportunity to help the University of Arizona defend a National Championship.
“I am most looking forward to doing whatever I can do to help get this team back to where they were last year,” said Brown, a native of Mill Creek, Wash., a city 20-miles north of Seattle. “Seeing that winning experience they had last year is a huge motivator for me to do my part to get us back to that.”
Brown has enjoyed the fall schedule so far and has been able to ease into the college game with the help of coaches Andy Lopez, Matt Siegel, and his fellow outfielders. They have all been more then willing to share their input with the 22 freshmen on the team according to Brown.
“It’s exciting to go out there and compete at a whole new level with some really good players. It’s a whole new level of intensity and toughness,” said Brown. “In high school the game speed was much slower than it is in college, so getting used to that has been the key to the transition. The coaches do a great job of getting you ready for the toughness – both physical and mental – that college...
Wednesday, Nov. 14, was the first day for high school players to sign letter of intents for college in the early signing period.
Marana Mountain View High School's Graham Sparker signed with Quincy University. The college is a NCAA Division-II school located in Quincy, Ill. Sparker threw 50.1 innings his junior year and compiled four wins and 48 strikeouts. At the plate he hit .270 with 19 runs and 13 RBIs.
Salpointe Catholic High School's Michael Hoard signed with the University of Arizona. His junior season he was named Southern Arizona Player of the Year after batting .460, with 49 RBIs and eight home runs. The first baseman was a participant in the prestigious Area Code Games showcase in August.
The Wildcats also signed five other players to their 2013 recruiting class.
Kenneth Meimerstorf an outfielder from Bishop Gorman High School in Henderson, Nev., hit for an average of .405 with nine home runs and 47 RBIs last season. The No. 2 ranked prospect in Nevada, according to Perfect Game, comes from the same high school as current Wildcats' Johnny Field and Stephen Manthei.
Bobby Dalbec an infielder and right-handed pitcher from Legend High School in Parker, Colo., finished his junior season with a .444 average, five home runs, and 21 RBIs. He was the Home Run Derby winner at the USA Baseball 17U Championship in Peoria, Ariz., this past summer.
Willie Calhoun a middle infielder from Benecia, Calif., was Co-Most Valuable Player of Solano County Athletic Conference....