From small-town legend
to first-place S.F. Giants
By Misty Volaski
Sept. 1 is a day that will go
down in history for Noah Lowry as the day he finally made it
- to the major leagues, that is. The San Francisco Giants purchased
Lowry's contract from their Triple A affiliate, Fresno Grizzlies,
Monday, making him an offical Major League Baseball player.
"I was shocked. I'd only been playing AAA for a few weeks
when they called me up," the left-handed pitcher said.
Lowry started playing baseball at the age of 4. Several years
later, he played at Nordhoff High School, where he's still known
as one of the best pitchers to come out of the baseball program.
Still, he wasn't offered much in the way of scholarships when
"I was terrible out of high school," Lowry, now 22,
said. "Wel,l at least I thought I was terrible."
He decided to join the Ventura College baseball team, where he
"worked his butt off," he laughed. But it all paid
off a year later when he was offered a full-ride scholarship
to Pepperdine College.
"I didn't want to get stuck paying off any loans,"
he said. "I thought if I worked hard enough, baseball would
take care of school. Luckily, it did."
After majoring in communications at Pepperdine, and being named
to the 2001 All-American team, the Giants had their eyes on him.
As the parent club's No. 1 draft pick, he started out with the
San Jose Giants, where he pitched for a full year before being
moved up to the Norwich, Conn. Navigators.
With the Navigators, Lowry recorded nine wins against six losses
and had a 4.72 ERA in 23 starts. Lowry's arsenal of pitches helped
the Navigators to become one of the top Eastern League squads.
He played AA ball with the 'Gators until the beginning of August,
when he was promoted to the AAA Fresno Grizzlies. There, Lowry
was 1-0 with a 2.37 ERA in the four games he started.
"I got in a couple of good starts," Lowry noted.
But it wasn't easy being away from his family and friends. It's
especially hard, he said, being away from his wife, Clare.
'It was really hard in Norwich," he said of being apart
from his loved ones. "But San Francisco's not that far away.
You just have to learn to deal" with being apart, Lowry
He will be sitting in the Giants' dugout tonight - along with
baseball legend and single-season home run champ Barry Bonds
- when they play at PacBell Park against Arizona.
Though he probably won't get to pitch tonight, Lowry said he's
always got to be ready.
"I have to stay focused every day, because I don't know
when they'll call me up to pitch. We're in the playoff race right
now," Lowry said.
Lowry, whose fastball averages in the low-90s, said that the
caliber of his teammates' play is inspiring.
"The level of play is definitely a lot better as far as
practice goes," Lowry said. "At this level guys pretty
much know what they have to do, and they go out there and do
it at practice."
The Ojai Valley News
to the news
LOWRY TALKS with a coach in the bullpen, where the left-handed
pitcher was prepping for this weekend's games against the Arizona
Diamondbacks. He said he always needs to be ready to step up
to the plate.