Despite being a last minute addition to the Arizona Diamondbacks’ major league camp, former Bear first baseman/outfielder Chris Carter is getting a lot of attention in the early spring. In four major league exhibition games through March 6, Carter is batting .429 in 7 at bats; including 2 home runs and 5 runs batted in. One of those homers was a grand slam off Texas Ranger pitching.
Of course Bears fans are not surprised by Carter’s offensive output. In 2004, Chris hit 15 home runs and set the single season record of 63 runs batted in for Yakima. However, he is best remembered in the Northwest League for his power display in winning the home run derby competition at the League’s 50th Anniversary All-Star Celebration.
Other Bears graduates enjoying success in Cactus League games through March 6 include:
- 3B Chad Tracy (Bears 2001) -- 5 hits in 7
- SS Jerry Gil (Bears 2002) -- 7 hits in 14
- 1B Conor Jackson (Bears 2003) -- 3 for 7
- 3B Brian Barden (Bears 2002) -- 3 for 9
- P Brian Bruney (Bears 2001) -- 3.00 earned run average in 3 innings, with 3 strikeouts
- P Greg Aquino (Bears 2001 & 2002) -- 4.50 ERA in 2 innings, with 2 Ks and no walks
- Ps Matt Chico (Bears 2003) & Garret Mock (Bears 2004) -- 1 shutout inning each
Across the continent in Florida, another ex-Bear received some unexpected help in his battle to make the Florida Marlins’ roster. Dan Uggla (Bears 2001) was competing with the veteran former Mariner Pokey Reese for the opening day second baseman position. However, Reese’s unexplained exit from the Marlins’ camp and subsequent release by the team gives Uggla the inside track for the job. Dan, named the Northwest League All-Star second baseman when he played for Yakima, has 2 hits in his first 13 at bats this spring.
The Bears’ next team of future major leaguers starts play at Yakima County Stadium on Saturday, June 24th. Season tickets and other ticket packages can be purchased at the Bears’ office at 8 N. 2nd Street in Yakima, by phone at 509-457-5151, or online at www.yakimabears.com.