Posted at 12:20 AM on June 20, 2005
by David Zingler
After 1,031 minor league games, 915 hits and countless bus rides, Glenn Williams is now a major leaguer. “It’s something I’ve worked my whole life for and something I’ve dreamed of,” the soon-to-be 28-year-old said. “I am still trying to feel my way around, get settled in. I am definitely not 100% comfortable here, but I am just trying to enjoy every moment, make the most of it all and go from there.”
The Australian’s journey began back in 1993 when he was signed as a 16-year-old by Atlanta. In six seasons in their minor league system, Williams did little to distinguish himself, never hitting over .266. In 2000, the infielder joined the Toronto organization, where he spent the next five years, including the last three at Triple A Syracuse.
Never during that time did he get even a sniff of big leagues life, “It’s just one of those things that was not under my control,” Williams said. “If it were up to me or any other player, we wouldn’t spend any time in the minor leagues....(but if) you start looking at why you are not (in the big leagues) and why you aren’t getting any chances, you get frustrated by that and you are not going to go out there and give it everything you’ve got. Sure, it was frustrating at times, but it just makes this all the more worth while and makes me enjoy every moment and not take anything for granted.”
As can be expected, Williams did contemplate giving up during those lean years. But he believes playing the game, no matter the level, is a blessing. “The minor leagues are not as bad as everyone makes them out,” the 2004 International League All Star explained. “Everybody wants to play here, but I am getting a chance to do what I love to do for a living (even in the minors). It’s definitely frustrating at times; wanting to make it to the big leagues and not getting the chance. You just have to keep plugging away and see what happens.”
After signing with the Twins last December, Williams began the season at Triple A Rochester and was hitting .303 when he was called up on June 7. “I was in Norfolk, VA, it was a Sunday, day game against the Triple A team from the Mets,” Williams recalled. “We had gotten beat pretty bad and (interm manager) Rich Miller called me into his office and gave me the good news. From there, I just headed out to Arizona (to join the team).”
Despite growing up in the Land Down Under, Williams was extensively exposed to our National Pastime as a youngster, “My dad played for the national team in Australia....(and) had a baseball store,” the two time Olympian commented. “He was in business with (former major leaguer) Craig Shipley’s brother and father. I had a chance to grow up around (Shipley), speak with him and (former Brewer) David Nilsson as well....those guys were fortunate enough to play in the big leagues and passed some of their knowledge on to me.”
On June 17, Williams finally began to reap the rewards of all of his hard work when his 11th single resulted in his first major league RBI and plated the game winning run. “It’s always good to get an opportunity, get in the game,” he said humbly. “We’ve had a lot of one run games, so I’ve been in some tough situations so it was good to get up there with the bases loaded in the last (inning) and get a hit and win the game for my team.”
Posted at 1:06 PM on June 20, 2005
by Ben Tesch
ESPN.com's Jayson Stark combs over the Twins pitching staff in Control freaks, an article which pulls out some amazing stats about Santana, Radke, and Silva's amazing walk and strike totals.
Any time you find yourself comparing a team to the 1876 Hartford Dark Blues and the 1906 White Sox, you know you're talking about a team that is, officially, from a whole 'nother era.
But that's where these Twins find themselves these days, throwing strikes at a rate that's unheard of in the 21st Century.