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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 dirtbagsfan@yahoo.com.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hometown Paper Features John Bowker

Former Dirtbag John Bowker is featured in this Sacramento Bee piece:
Giants notes: For now, Rio grad must wait out things
By Nick Peters -- Bee Staff Writer

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Tony Torcato's career with the Giants has ended as the unsigned free-agent outfielder continues to search for baseball work, and the former first-round draft choice has been replaced by another valley boy in camp.

He's outfielder John Bowker, 22, who has batted .295 with 19 home runs and 94 RBIs in 162 games in the lower minors the past two seasons after starring at Rio Americano High School and Long Beach State.

A three-sport athlete as a prep, Bowker went to Long Beach after setting season records at Rio Americano with a .463 average, 41 hits, eight home runs and 41 RBIs. He batted .323 in three college seasons and was a third-round draft choice of the Giants.

"I have no timetable for reaching the bigs," said Bowker, whose 27 doubles, 13 homers and 67 RBIs helped Class-A San Jose win the California League title last season. "This is my second big-league camp, and we'll just see what happens."

Bowker, whose father, Brite, was a tennis player at Lewis & Clark College in Oregon, spent the winter working out in Sacramento and with college buddies in Long Beach. He's hopeful of starting the season at Double-A Norwich, Conn.

A left-handed hitter, Bowker is more or less lost in the shuffle now, but with veteran Giants outfielders close to drawing Social Security, there's always hope he'll reach the bigs with the team he followed as a youngster.

"I was a Giants fan, and my favorite player was Barry Bonds," he said. "I played with (pitcher) Jered Weaver at Long Beach, so I was the other guy. My best memory was beating Stanford to reach the NCAA [Super Regional].

"I had a couple of hits, including a homer, but we missed going to Omaha (the College World Series) when Arizona beat us. Of course, winning the Cal League title was a lot of fun, too."

posted on 2/22/2006 by Jeff Agnew

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