Home Sweet Home Plate

DEPARTMENTS july/august 2010

WEB EXCLUSIVE- Home Sweet Home Plate

When Hampton Roads natives play on both sides of the field, it's even easier to root, root, root for the home team.

Bookmark and Share Written by Melissa Marazzi
Photography by Keith Cephus, www.keithcephus.com

The Baltimore Orioles fought hard against the New York Mets Friday night at Baltimore’s Camden Yards, but still they came up short at the opening game of the series. The Mets have seen much success recently with the help of their well-rooted players, especially Hampton Roads’ very own David Wright.

Getting ready to take his stance at bat, Baltimore veteran and former Norfolk Tides player Ty Wigginton has been hitting up a storm this year with 44 RBIs currently, placing him in the lead for the Orioles.
Orioles players Cesar Izturis, Ty Wigginton, and Scott Moore watch from the dugout in Camden Yards. Ty Wigginton and Scott Moore were both Norfolk Tides players before they were signed into the majors.
New York Mets player, and Norfolk local, David Wright has been helping the Mets see victory more and more this season. As the lead batter on the team, Wright currently holds one of the highest batting averages in the National League as well as the most RBIs (64) this season.

Wright, a former Norfolk Tides third baseman, has been making waves in the big leagues since his major league debut in 2004. Now playing for the Mets, the Norfolk local worked his way up from the minor leagues rather quickly and found a comfortable spot as a lead batter with the other top dogs on the Mets.

Wright currently holds 12 Home Runs and is batting with an OBP of .371. If that isn’t enough, he is also reeling in 53 RBIs, putting him in the top three in the National League. Not too shabby for a local Southern boy.

But the Mets aren’t the only ones reaping the benefits of talented Norfolk players. As the farm team for the Orioles, the Tides has been feeding into the majors for years. Baltimore has recruited a slew of Tides, signing the Triple-A players to the big leagues since 2007.

And their newest member? A talented young Jake Arrieta.

As the starting pitcher for the Orioles, Arrieta established his background as an RHP with the Tides and earned himself a more-than-decent ERA of 1.85 in 12 games, the lead in the International League.

Arrieta made his major league debut during an Orioles vs. Yankees game—nothing like pitching against the defending champions of the World Series to make your modest major league debut. But the fiery pitcher stood his ground and faced the challenge like a true pro, living up to his reputation as a pitching leader.

The pitcher is joining quite a large family of former Tides teammates on the Orioles, including Arrieta’s rotation-mate Chris Tillman and batting leader Ty Wigginton who currently has 39 RBIs and 13 Home Runs.

The Tides boys are making big waves in the majors and are expected to continue their success into the season. So keep an eye out at the next Norfolk game; with the looks of the faithful prospects of this season’s draft picks, another Tide may roll into the backyard at Camden soon enough. HRM

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