The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local Sports

March 15, 2009

Rays’ rookie of year credits Pirates’ vet

By JOHN PERROTTO — Evan Longoria made sure to give credit to veteran teammate Eric Hinske after winning the American League Rookie of the Year award last season.

Longoria, the Tampa Bay Rays’ third baseman, expanded on what Hinske did to help him last season earlier in spring training. Hinske was a utility player for the Rays, who went from having the worst record in the American League in 2007 to winning the American League pennant in 2008.

Hinske will play the same utility role with the Pirates this season after being signed as a free agent.

“I’ll be forever grateful to ‘Ske,” Longoria said. “He really took me under his wing when I got called up from the minor leagues last year. He showed me how to prepare myself for games, both physically and mentally. He showed me what it takes to be a major-league player.

“He’s just a great, great guy. He didn’t have to do that, but he really cared about me as a player and a person. He was a special teammate.”

Longoria also credits Hinske for helping him become a rich man.

“He told me don’t pass up the chance to make your first fortune,” Longoria recalled with a smile. “I trust everything he says and I definitely took that advice.”

Thus, Longoria agreed to a six-year, $17.5-million contract last April despite having less than a month of service time in the major leagues. The deal could be worth up to $50 million for nine years if club options are picked up.

Hinske had been in the same situation after winning the AL Rookie of the Year as the Toronto Blue Jays’ third baseman in 2002. During spring training in 2003, he signed a five-year, $15-million contract.

q q q

Catching on: Ronny Paulino, who went from starting catcher in 2007 to Class AAA Indianapolis in 2008 with the Pirates, finds himself getting a lot of playing time this spring with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local Sports
  • racin 0416 Jennerstown Speedway gearing for May open

    Jennerstown Speedway released a very ambitious schedule on its website and continues to prepare for its 2014 reopening.
    The track is set to hold a practice day for drivers as well as an open house and media day on April 26.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘Hawks already building toward next season

    Jason Spence used up his cell phone’s battery on a trip from Johnstown to his parents’ home in Nova Scotia, Canada.
    Once the Johnstown Tomahawks coach got to his destination, Spence had to get creative to secure cell service across the border.

    April 16, 2014

  • Pirates 0416 Dominant Cueto drops Pirates in matinee

    That playoff loss in Pittsburgh last year? Johnny Cueto never thought about it much. So getting a chance to shut out the Pirates in a rematch wasn’t any more special.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Penguins 0416 Penguins rally to wear out Jackets

    Brandon Sutter scored on a wrist shot from the left circle 8:18 into the third period, helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rally for a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals on Wednesday night.
    Beau Bennett and Matt Niskanen scored power-play goals 45 seconds apart in the second period, erasing Pittsburgh’s two-goal deficit.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shelley and McElligot Series serves as reunion for former Chiefs personnel

    Not so long ago, Bob McElligott, like most Western Pennsylvania hockey fans, would savor a long Pittsburgh Penguins playoff run.
    The Somerset native followed the Pens’ Stanley Cup-winning teams in 1991 and 1992.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Malkin nearing return

    The Columbus Blue Jackets are the closest NHL team to the Pittsburgh Penguins, at least geographically. The two franchises are separated by 185 miles of highway.

    April 15, 2014

  • Reds swing way past Pirates

    Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays.
    First, the NL Central rivals completed a game that was suspended in the sixth inning because of rain the previous night.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pitt ends its spring practices

    No tailgating.
    No trip to a local high school.

    April 15, 2014

  • Pirates Game 1 0415 Pirates edge out Reds in suspended game

    After all those home runs and an overnight delay, it was settled by a single.
    Andrew McCutchen doubled and came around on Russell Martin’s single in the seventh inning on Tuesday, giving the Pittsburgh Pirates an 8-7 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in the completion of a game that spanned two days and 10 home runs.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • track_B1 WestPAC relays go to Windber boys, Berlin girls

    Rain showers and dropping temperatures put a damper on Monday’s WestPAC Relays at Berlin Brothersvalley High School.
    For the Berlin girls and the boys from Windber, however, discomfort was not much of a factor.
    The Mountaineers won their third straight relay title while the Ramblers reclaimed the title from defending champ Shade.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

AP Video
Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide