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2002 Bellevue baseball alumni Blake Hawksworth featured in Seattle Times

Eastlake High grad Blake Hawksworth building his major-league career

After a roller-coaster tour through the minors, nearly ended by labrum surgery in 2004, Blake Hawksworth finally broke into the majors last June and quickly became a mainstay of the St. Louis Cardinals' bullpen.

Larry Stone

Seattle Times baseball reporter

 

JUPITER, Fla. — Here at Planet Jupiter, as the St. Louis Post-Dispatch likes to call Cardinals' camp, the endless focus has been on the return to uniform of new hitting coach Mark McGwire.

It was still a little jarring to see him Sunday, standing stoically behind the batting cage as Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and the rest of the Cardinals took BP. I decided to give McGwire his space, mainly because his story has already been probed to death, and the Cardinals are sick and tired of talking about it.

I gravitated toward a different spring training yarn, one that has all the classic elements. Local boy makes good. Overcoming adversity. Perseverance.

Even a little Olympic hockey on a day when that's all anyone really cared about.

This is the story of Cardinal reliever Blake Hawksworth, whose family left their native North Vancouver for the Puget Sound area when he was 5. Yet Hawksworth still wore a Canadian T-shirt to camp Sunday and left no doubt who he was rooting for in the gold medal game.

Hawksworth, despite spending his formative years on the Sammamish plateau and graduating from Eastlake High School in 2001, is still a Canadian citizen and proud supporter of Team Canada — "all the way," he said firmly. Read more


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