Add the name of Sean Green to the list of University of Louisville alums who were gratified by their alma mater’s unprecedented drive to the College World Series this spring. The Cards capped off a great month for Green who earned his first major league victory on June 9.
Green, a Louisville native (pictured left), is now a pitcher for the Seattle Mariners. He won his first major league game in relief at San Diego, and has made 25 appearances out of the bullpen for Seattle this season. He had a 2-1 record and a 2.53 ERA as the Major Leagues paused for the All-Star break. His team trails the Los Angeles Angels (of Anaheim) by just 2 ? games in the American League West race.
"I haven't been around to see exactly what all the changes have been within the U of L program,” said Green. “I do know we had some good things going when I was there. The pieces started to come together a bit, and I think it's just been improving over the years. Now, they're getting good recruits - guys they know they can sign and guys who want to play. These days, they have a chance of winning every year.”
Green believes the World Series appearance will give the Cards another boost.
"It's good to see Louisville going in the right direction,” he said. “I think it's good for the program to know that's where they need to be each year. It should give the players a little more drive and a little more motivation.”
U of L finished the season with a 47-24 record that included crucial victories in the Missouri Regional, two wins over Oklahoma State to claim the Super Regional crown, and the school’s first-ever trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., where the Cards defeated Mississippi State and finished among the top-six teams in the nation.
The 6-6, 230-pound Green played baseball at Male High School in Louisville, then competed for the Cards for three seasons. He was selected by Colorado in the 12th round of the 2000 Major League Draft and was acquired by Seattle in 2004 after advancing through the minor leagues. He’s the second U of L player ever to make it to the majors. Only Fred Koster (1928) had achieved the goal previously.
“I keep tabs on the Cardinals as much as I can,” said Green. “I’m sure that after this season, I’ll plan to work out in the new U of L facilities. Last year, I was playing winter ball in Arizona, but this time I’ll be able to get back home.”
QUOTABLE: After Green won his first game, he was ambushed by Seattle’s closer J.J. Putz, who surprised him with a shaving-cream pie to the face during a post-game television interview. “He’s awfully good for somebody his size (6-5, 250),” Green said. “You know it’s coming, but you never know where it’s coming from.”
NOTE: Von Benko is a contributing writer for Louisville.com. He covers professional football, basketball and baseball and can reached by e-mail at email@example.com . Columnist Ron Steiner is published daily on Louisville.com and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org .