Random Seattle Athlete of The Day: Wilson Valdez

Name: Wilson Valdez

Claim to Fame
Being the Mariners Opening Day starter at shortstop, having been claimed off waivers from the White Sox the day before.

Was He Any Good?
 In short, no. When it became apparent that recent acquisition Pokey Reese would not recover from his spring training injury in time for opening day (which is another story altogether), The Mariners were forced to make an emergency move to pick up Valdez, just so somebody could play shortstop. As Reese continued to be hurt, Valdez remained the starting shortstop, hitting an abysmal .198/.235/.254 before being jettisoned off to San Diego.

Anything Else Interesting About Him?
His recent MLB comeback is a nice story. After receiving 80 PA’s with the Dodgers in 2007, Valdez signed with the Kia Tigers of , where he spent a few months before signing with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows in June. Amazingly, Valdez returned to major league baseball in 2009, playing in 41 games as a backup shortstop for the Mets. He was recently signed to a minor league deal by the NL Champion Phillies.