April 2, 2007
SEATTLE, Wash. - Travis Buck, who started in right field for the Oakland Athletics this afternoon in Seattle, became the 87th Sun Devil to play Major League Baseball. Buck is one of nine former Devils on Opening Day rosters, as Major League Baseball opened the 2007 season with a full slate of games today. Only USC and Texas have had more players go on to play Major League Baseball than Arizona State.
Buck joins Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants), Paul Lo Duca (New York Mets), Chris Duffy (Pittsburgh Pirates), Ian Kinsler (Texas Rangers), Jon Switzer (Tampa Bay Devil Rays), Willie Bloomquist (Seattle Mariners), Dustin Pedroia (Boston Red Sox) and Andre Ethier (Los Angeles Dodgers) as former Arizona State University student-athletes currently in the Majors.
Buck had an outstanding three-year career in the Maroon and Gold from 2003 to 2005. He was a two-time All-Pac-10 First Team Selection and an All-American following his junior season in Tempe, a year in which he helped lead Arizona State a third place national finish at the College World Series. Buck hit .362 in his Sun Devil career, including .382 during his junior year when he was named to the All-College World Series team.
Buck doubled off the wall in the sixth inning off Mariners starter Felix Hernandez for his first big league hit.
Bonds, who is challenging the all-time home run record, wore the Maroon and Gold from 1983 to 1985. Lo Duca is coming off a 2006 season where he was the starting catcher for the National League All-Star team. He was a Sun Devil in 1993. Duffy is entering his third season with the Pirates after calling Tempe home during the 2001 season. Bloomquist begins his sixth season in the Majors after having been at ASU from 1997 through 1999. Switzer, who is on the disabled list for the Rays, pitched for ASU from 1999-2001. Kinsler, who played for ASU in 2002, Pedroia (2002-04) and Ethier (2002-03) all made their big league debuts last season. Ethier finished fifth in NL Rookie of the Year voting a season ago.