Sunday, December 12, 2004
8 Days of Jewish Baseball
Number 48; Relief Pitcher
Justin Wayne is another relatively new player. He made his major league debut in 2002 with five starts and 16 strikeouts against 13 walks. The first game that he started was in New York (vs. Mets) and his parents flew in to watch him pitch. He was supposed to play for the Marlins in 2003, but he was put on the disabled list with leg problems, and when he came back was put into the Florida AAA club, the Albuquerque Isotopes (which might be one of the best minor league team names out there). In 2004 he was up and down from the minors with tendinitis in his shoulder, although early in the '04 season he had worked 18 relief outings.
After his injury the Marlins revamped their bullpen by trading for Billy Koch and calling up Josias Manzanillo, so when Wayne's shoulder was back his spot on the roster wasn't. I can't find much information on it, but I think he might have spent the rest of the Marlins' season (such as it was) at the AAA level.
He went to school at Stanford, where he went 6-0 with 6 saves working out of the bullpen his freshman year. In his junior year he led the Cardinal (and yes, that's supposed to be singular... there is no fathoming the weirdness that is the Stanford team name/mascot combination) to the College World Series final and was named co-Pac 10 Pitcher of the Year.
Wayne grew up in Honolulu, which not exactly your prototypical Jewish home state. He also has a brother named Hawkeye, which is not a typical Jewish name by any stretch of the imagination. Both his father and brother were baseball players in college.
I'd dig around for more info, but the Lions are playing in Lambeau and that plus biology studying requires a great deal of attention. Tomorrow's Jewish Baseball Player of the Day is number 15. Take a guess or wait and see.