This turned into something else….
At first, I was going to do a piece on the NCAA Tournament and the connections of Timber Rattlers players and coaches – past and present – have had with the schools involved in the tournament.
Then, I got sidetracked.
First here is the main reason I started this post. Off the top of my head, I can recall these players with ties to teams that made the NCAA Basketball Tournament:
Jacob Barnes – Florida Gulf Coast
David Goforth – Mississippi
Ben McMahan & Tommy Toledo – Florida
Michael Garza – Georgetown
Brent Suter – Harvard
Brandon Macias – Kansas
Adrian Williams & Brent Dean – UCLA
Matt Miller & JJ Putz – Michigan
Mike Walker – Pacific
Bo Acors & Alex Gary – Virginia Commonwealth University
Brian Garman – Cincinnati
Eric Arnett – Indiana
Brandon Green – Wichita State University
Justin Jordan – Belmont
Greg Dobbs – Oklahoma
Tom Keeling & Mike Strong – Oklahoma State
Ricky Orta – Miami
Lance Painter – Wisconsin
Matt Hagen – Liberty
TJ Bohn – Iowa State
Corey Harrington – New Mexico State
Jeremy Dutton – North Carolina State
Marshall Hubbard – North Carolina
Michael Ciccoteli & Nick Allen – Villanova
I’m sure there are some that I am missing. Feel free to add to the list in the comments.
As I was going through the brackets and trying to match schools in the tournament with former players…in my mind!…I stopped on Creighton for a moment…Tom Oldham went to Creighton…right?
Quick Google search to check and this is what I found:
Yes. Oldham, a Timber Rattlers pitcher in 2004, runs his own baseball school in Omaha, home of the Creighton Bluejays. That is really cool. Oh, and he also DID play his college baseball at Creighton. So, I wasn’t wrong!
Oldham mentions one of his games with the Timber Rattlers in the ‘About’ section of his website.
In 2004, he was 5th in strikeouts in all of Minor League Baseball, highlighted by a 15-strikeout performance against the Dayton Dragons in 8 innings.
I just so happen to have my scorebook from that game against the Dayton Dragons in 2004. It happened on June 26 at Fox Cities Stadium. One of his 15Ks that day was catching a guy by the name of Joey Votto looking to end the first inning.
Oldham allowed four hits, walked one, hit one, and allowed no runs in that game. He also picked a runner off first in the second inning.
The Rattlers won that game 6-0 and were powered by homers from Bryan LaHair and Mike Nesbit. Additionally, Adam Jones went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Lest you think that was a 1-game wonder for Oldham, it was not the only time that season he had 10 or more Ks in a game. He also had 13 in seven shutout innings against Cedar Rapids on May 17 and 10 in 5-1/3 innings at Dayton on June 15.
Oldham struck out 132 and walked just 30 in 116.2IP with the Timber Rattlers before earning a promotion to Inland Empire in the California League later in the ’04 season. He struck out 56 and walked 6 in 42 innings over his last seven starts of the season.
That would be…188 strikeouts and 36 walks in 158.2 innings pitched that season.
Oldham would make to to AAA in 2006, but…
Later that year, he pitched in Triple A with the Tacoma Rainiers before his professional career was cut short by an injury. Although Tom’s playing career is complete, his passion for development remains and he hopes his experiences and knowledge will help players reach their goals.
His contact information is at the website. Drop him a line to say hello from Rattlers fans…and Go, Creighton!