Meet The Athletics

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Due to the frequently rotating roster of the Oakland Athletics, I have decided to compose a short bio of some of the players that may be unknown to the masses. You never know - you might read one of these bios and find a new favorite player...Or you might think to yourself "Wow - how can I get those 2 minutes of my life back?" Either way, today I'd like you to meet (per request): Catcher Kurt Suzuki...

Who is the man behind this mask?

Kurt Suzuki was born on October 4, 1983 in Hawaii. He grew up, learned to play baseball, then attended Cal State Fullerton, where he had a pretty successful college career. Some highlights: In 2004, he won the Johnny Bench award (given yearly to the top college catcher), was selected as a 1st team College All-American, and won the inaugural Brooks Wallace award (player of the year award given by the College Baseball Foundation). He also helped Cal State Fullerton win the 2004 College World Series (over Huston Street's Texas Longhorns).

Suzuki was drafted by the A's in 2004. During his time in the minors, he batted .283 with a .380 OBP. He was a Double-A All-Star in 2006, and during that year, he threw out about 40 percent of baserunners, which ain't too shabby. He also played for Team USA. He was called up in June of last year, and became the starting catcher when Jason Kendall was traded to the Cubs. During his time with the A's in 2007, he batted .249 with 7 home runs.

This year, Suzuki started out the pretty well. According to the A's website, he batted .339 over his first 17 games, and took the leadoff spot from a slumping Travis Buck. But now, Kurt seems to be in his own slump, so he's been dropped in the order for the time being. But he's thrown out about 35 percent of baserunners so far this year, which isn't bad. There's still a lot of baseball to be played, so we'll see what happens. Either way, Kurt has definitely been a contributer in the A's surprising start to the season.

I'll end with this fun fact: In the 68 games he played for Oakland in 2007, Suzuki hit over double the number of home runs that Jason Kendall hit during his entire time with the A's.