Sept. 1, 2002
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Former Arizona State Baseball All-American Willie Bloomquist will become the 76th Sun Devil to play in the major leagues after getting called up from Triple-A Tacoma to the Seattle Mariners last night when the rosters were allowed to expand.
Bloomquist, who was an All-American outfielder and shortstop during his Sun Devil career from 1997-99, was hitting .270 (91x337) with six home runs and 14 doubles for the Tacoma Rainiers before getting the call up. The versatile player started 30 games at second base, 25 at third base, 19 at shortstop and 39 games in the outfield.
He becomes the latest in a long line of former ASU players who have donned a major league uniform. He will join former Sun Devil players Barry Bonds, Fernando Vina, Sean Lowe, Jacob Cruz, Mike Benjamin and Paul Lo Duca to play in the big leagues this year. Drafted in the third round by the Mariners in 1999, Bloomquist was named a minor league all-star during his first professional season and moved full-time to the Triple-A level in only his third year.
The native of Port Orchard, Wash., Bloomquist had a banner career at ASU, earning All-Pac-10 acclaim his sophomore and junior seasons. He is ranked third in school history with a career. 394 batting average, fourth with 216 runs scored, third with 22 triples, ninth with 176 RBI and fourth with 72 stolen bases. His .414 batting average in 1998 ranks eighth in ASU single-season history and was a key to the Sun Devils second-place showing in the College World Series. Bloomquist was also a member of the 1998 USA Baseball National Team.
"I couldn't be happier for such a wonderful person and such a hard worker," said ASU's ninth-year head coach Pat Murphy. "Willie plays the game the way it is meant to be played... hard all the time. He gave our program a lot in the three years that he was here and continues to pass on his legacy to our current players."
Bloomquist will join the Mariners today as they continue to battle in the heated American League West pennant race. The Mariners (79-57) are currently six game out of first place behind the Oakland Athletics and two and half games in back of the Anaheim Angels for the Wild Card. Seattle finishes a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals today (Sunday) and will begin a two-game series with the Minnesota Twins starting Monday.