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Aaron Rowand

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Aaron Ryan Rowand (born August 29, 1977 in Portland, Oregon) is a center fielder in Major League Baseball who plays for the San Francisco Giants. He has previously played for the Chicago White Sox and the Philadelphia Phillies.

Rowand attended Glendora High School in California where he graduated in 1995. Drafted by the New York Mets, he elected to go to college instead.

He attended Cal State Fullerton from 1996 to 1998. In 1998 Rowand earned All American honors before being selected by the Chicago White Sox in the first round (35th pick) of the 1998 amateur draft.

Major League careerEdit

Chicago White SoxEdit

File:Aaron Rowand Profile.jpg

Rowand made his major league debut for the Chicago White Sox on June 16, 2001 as a pinch hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals. He finished his rookie season fourth among American League rookies in batting average at .293. He collected his first major league hit on June 19, 2001 against Kansas City Royals' pitcher Tony Cogan.[1]

Rowand suffered a broken left shoulder blade and rib in a dirt bike accident in the 2002 off season and spent part of spring training recovering.[2] In 2003, Rowand was sent down to the minor leagues after hitting .133 in his first 60 games, but after spending 32 games in the minors, he returned to hit the Major Leagues, hitting .387 after his return.[2]

In 2004, Aaron led the American League in home runs for a center fielder with 24. 2004 was his first season with close to 500 at bats and Rowand established himself as a regular starter for the first time in his career. Rowand showed patience at the plate and posted his second highest career on base percentage at .361.

File:Victory Parade.jpg

In 2005 with the White Sox, he had a .270 batting average with 77 runs and 30 doubles. He also hit 13 home runs and stole 16 bases. He has a low amount of patience, as walked 32 times compared to 116 strikeouts. He had only a .329 on base percentage (OBP) and a .407 slugging percentage (SLG). He also collected 235 total bases. In 2005 at center field, he collected 388 putouts and had only three errors. He had a .978 fielding percentage.[3]

The 2005 Chicago White Sox went on to win the World Series. Aaron was noted by manager Ozzie Guillén as a clubhouse leader and an example of the hustle play expected from the team. Aaron captured the hearts of White Sox fans with his all-out play and total commitment to the winning. In the postseason, he had a .267 batting average with 8 runs and 6 doubles. He also walked 4 times and had 1 stolen base. "The Legend of Aaron Rowand"

Philadelphia PhilliesEdit

File:Aaron Rowand.jpg

On November 23, 2005, Rowand was traded by the White Sox along with minor league pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Daniel Haigwood to the Philadelphia Phillies for first baseman Jim Thome and approximately $22 million.

On May 11, 2006, in the first inning of a game versus the New York Mets, Rowand made a spectacular play by smashing into the center field fence of Citizens Bank Park face first at full speed in order to reach a ball off the bat of Xavier Nady with the bases loaded, that would otherwise have scored three runs. Rowand suffered a broken nose and severe lacerations to his face. The Phillies won the game, 2-0, in a rain-shortened 5-inning game. He underwent seven hours of surgery to repair the nose, and was placed on the 15-day disabled list. He returned to the starting lineup on May 26, 2006.

File:Rowand at 2007 Rally.jpg

On August 21, 2006, in a game at the Chicago Cubs, Rowand collided with second baseman Chase Utley and broke his ankle. He was on the disabled list the remainder of the regular season.

2007, a contract year, proved to be Rowand's breakthrough, both statistically and in recognition around baseball. He finished with a batting average of .309, 27 Home Runs, 89 RBIs and 6 Stolen Bases. On July 10, 2007 Rowand was selected to the 2007 MLB All-Star Game in San Francisco, for his first All-Star appearance. In the bottom of the 9th, bases loaded, two outs, and the AL leading 5-4, Rowand flied out to Alexis Ríos in right field to end the game helping give the American League Home Field Advantage in the 2007 World Series.[4] He had 15 home runs, 58 RBIs and a .331 batting average after the All-Star Break, and earned his first Gold Glove Award for his outfield play, including 11 outfield assists and only 2 errors all season.[5]

San Francisco GiantsEdit

Opting not to return to Philadelphia, Rowand signed a five year-$60 million contract with the San Francisco Giants on December 12, 2007.[6] In the face of dismal expectations for the rebuilding season, Rowand declared the next month that the Giants could win the division.[7] Rowand's prediction did not come true, however, as the 2008 Giants struggled to a 72-90 finish. Rowand himself did not come close to his 2007 numbers with Philadelphia, as his OPS dropped by over one hundred points to .749, below the .772 league average.

On May 25, 2008, Rowand hit his 100th career home run at Dolphin Stadium.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

In 2002, he was injured in a motorcycle accident. He shattered his left collarbone, broke two ribs and suffered a punctured lung. In 2008, in early April, against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Rowand was diving for the ball then he missed and landed on the baseball. He suffered a cracked left rib.

Rowand is an avid Chicago Bears fan. He is known to wear a Bears shirt under his jersey.

He married Marianne Griffen on November 27, 1999, and has two children, Tatum (Aug. 10, 2001) and McKay (Dec. 5, 2004).

When he was with the Phillies, Rowand and his family lived in Garnet Valley, which is in Delaware County, outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Since he signed with the Giants he now resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Rowand is the first cousin of Tampa Bay Rays pitcher James Shields.


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