With the MLB Playoffs in full swing, Chatham A's fans will certainly recognize some players that appear on their televisions every night. While names such as Jacoby Ellsbury and Chase Utley visited Veterans Field with other CCBL clubs, five players in October once wore the Chatham pinstripes.
Pitcher Dave Bush of the Milwaukee Brewers (Chatham 2000-01) took the ball in Game Three of the Division Series against the Philadelphia Phillies needing to help his team out. The Brewers, who chased down the Mets in the season's final week to earn the NL Wild Card, found themselves trailing the Phillies two games to none. Pitching in the first playoff game in Milwaukee since the 1982 World Series, Bush was solid. He threw 5.1 innings of three hit ball, surrendering just one run as the Brewers stayed alive, ultimately to lose in Game Four.
Also starring for the Brewers was outfielder Ryan Braun (Chatham 2000). The 2007 National League Rookie of the Year went 4/16 in the series, with a .313 average and two RBI's.
A's fans will be even more excited for the American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays. Although 2007 World Series Most Valuable Player Mike Lowell (Chatham 1994) will miss the series due to injury, two more Chatham alums will make A's fans proud.
Outfielder Jason Bay (Chatham 1999), acquired in the Manny Ramirez deal, has shone in the postseason. The British Columbia native was 7/13 in the Division Series, hitting .512, with two home runs and five RBI's. One of Bay's three runs was the run that eliminated the Los Angeles Angels.
Bay and the Red Sox will face this year's upstart team, the Tampa Bay Rays, for the AL Pennant. At the forefront of the Rays renaissance is third baseman Evan Longoria (/b) (Chatham 2005). After a stellar rookie campaign that catapulted him to the forefront of the American League Rookie of the Year discussion, Longoria has kept it up on the big stage. In the Division Series against the Chicago White Sox, Longoria got the Rays off to a flying start with home runs in his first two at bats. The former Long Beach State star became just the second player in big league history to homer in his first two postseason at bats. He chipped in with an RBI single later in the game. He finished the series with a .267 average as the Rays dispensed with the White Sox in four games.
With Chatham well-represented in the 2008 postseason, be sure to check in with chathamas.com for full coverage as former A's battle it out to see who will win baseball's ultimate prize.