Shortstop Tomas De La Rosa is the most recent player who can make the claim of being in Independent Baseball one season and in the major leagues the next year.
The 28-year-old played 22 games for Nashua, NH in the Atlantic League in 2005 before the Pride shifted to the Can-Am League. He was in the majors previously, but his 33 games were for Montreal back in the 2000 and 2001 seasons.
De La Rosa was playing for Fresno, CA, San Francisco's top affiliate, until last weekend when the parent Giants called him up. Who knows if the promotion will be permanent, but the 5-foot-10 De La Rosa has one tale he can tell the rest of his life.
That is about the day he pinch ran for Barry Bonds. It happened Sunday in his second appearance with the Giants, in one of those great San Francisco-Los Angeles rivalry games.
De La Rosa went one better Wednesday with a pinch single in his first at bat with the Giants. Teammate Eliezer Alfonzo, who played for the St. Paul (MN) Saints for a full season in 2003 (.300-9-46) when they still were in the Northern League (the Saints now play in the American Association), made it an even better day for the Independent Baseball grads with a game-winning RBI triple in the Giants' three-run seventh inning rally which propelled them to a 7-6 win over Arizona. Alfonzo gets much of the catching work for the Giants, and has driven in 31 runs while hitting .282 since coming up from Double-A Connecticut.
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
I PINCH RAN FOR BARRY BONDS
Former chief spokesman for Major League Baseball Commissioners Bowie Kuhn and Peter Ueberroth. Six years as publicity director for the Kansas City Royals, and a background in newspaper, radio and television. Started Wirz & Associates, a sports PR and consulting firm, in 1985. Has written extensively on Independent Baseball since 2003.