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Troy Tulowitzki - Hometown Kid Makes Good At Sunken Diamond


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Welcome to Dirtbags Baseball blog! I was introduced to Long Beach State baseball in 2002 when my nephew, Neil Jamison, joined the team (and university) as a freshman. I started the blog in March of 2004, and generally discuss the team, current players and those that have moved on to professional baseball - as Neil has done in the San Diego Padres organization. Living in San Diego County, and with Neil moving to the next level, I won't be attending as many Dirtbags games. But, mostly from a distance, I'll remain a Dirtbags fan. I welcome tips on stories and information concerning the Dirtbags (current, past and future). I can be contacted at


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Thursday, June 10, 2004

Troy Tulowitzki - Hometown Kid Makes Good At Sunken Diamond

From the San Jose Mercury News (read it here - free registration required):



By Dennis Knight

Mercury News

When Troy Tulowitzki was a Sunnyvale Little League star, he was a regular at Stanford summer baseball camps, where he fell in love with Sunken Diamond.

As a freshman at Long Beach State last season, the Fremont High alum returned to his field of dreams when the 49ers played Stanford in an NCAA Super Regional.

Playing in front of a large contingent of family and friends, Tulowitzki came through with a solid performance at the plate. But a pair of errors by the shortstop proved costly as Stanford capitalized to win both games.

"He wanted to show everyone in his home town that he was for real. He felt a lot of pressure and blamed himself," his father, Ken Tulowitzki, said before last weekend's rematch between the 49ers and Stanford in an NCAA regional. "I think he's moved on and he's talking about how he can redeem himself this year."

Troy Tulowitzki did more than redeem himself. He led the 49ers to a two-game sweep of the No. 1 ranked Cardinal, equaling his season total by blasting three home runs and earning most outstanding player honors.

"It was unbelievable. It was a dream come true," said Tulowitzki, who earned first-team All-Big West honors after hitting .307, with 36 RBIs and a team-leading 14 doubles in the regular season. "Our season has ended on Sunken Diamond the last couple years, so to finally come through and get the win, that was huge.

"It definitely would have been exciting no matter where it happened, but to have my father there and all my friends, that made it even more special."

The 49ers will host the University of Arizona this weekend in the Super Regional in Long Beach. The winner earns a trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.

"Hopefully, my career highlight hasn't come yet. I've always wanted to go to the College World Series," Tulowitzki said. "Getting a chance to play in this tournament and trying to make it to Omaha is a great opportunity."

Tulowitzki first drew the media's attention as a 12-year-old playing with best friend Robert Perry (now a starter for Santa Clara University) on the Sunnyvale National Little League team which advanced to the Western Regionals, a step away from the Little League World Series.

Since then, it has been Tulowitzki's dream to reach the big leagues. After visiting Long Beach as a high school senior, Tulowitzki chose the school because of coach Mike Weather's rapport with infielders. A's shortstop Bobby Crosby is a former 49er and a close friend of Tulowitzki's. The two are sometimes compared.

"It puts added pressure to compared to a major leaguer, but it's an honor," Tulowitzki said. "I've always wanted to play pro ball, and it looks like it is going to happen."

Even with all accolades Tulowitzki has earned, he hasn't changed much. A star basketball player at Fremont High and four-year varsity baseball player, Tulowitzki is ultra-competitive in everything he does, according to Mike Smith, his coach at Fremont.

"He just doesn't accept losing," Smith said. "You can tell by the way he carries himself and the way he acts that he comes from a great family. It's nice to see him have success because he doesn't let it go to his head."

posted on 6/10/2004 by Jeff Agnew

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