A look at Mud Hens pitcher Vic Darensbourg.
Position: Left-handed pitcher
Height/Weight: 5-10, 180
Age: 34 (born Nov. 13, 1970)
Hometown: Los Angeles
2005: One of the keys to the Toledo bullpen, the 14-year pro is tied for the team lead with 22 appearances. Has a 2-0 record with two saves this season and has not allowed an earned run in 171/3 innings. Has given up just six hits - opponents are batting just .109 against him - and nine walks while striking out 17. Has been used as the primary set-up man for closer Jason Karnuth and has seven "holds" (a hold means a reliever came into the game in a save situation and left with the save opportunity still in place). He has stranded all but one of the nine baserunners he has inherited this season.
Career: Has spent all or part of the previous seven seasons in the big leagues, pitching for Florida, Colorado, Montreal, the Chicago White Sox and the New York Mets. Spent 1998-2002 with Florida, where he had a 7-15 record with two saves. Set a dubious major-league record by making 123 appearances without earning a victory before beating Pittsburgh on April 20, 2000. Led National League relievers by allowing just 12.1 percent (4 of 33) inherited runners score in 2000, and ranked fourth in that category at 15.9 percent (7-of-44) in 2000. Has not started a game since making 21 starts for Double-A Portland in the Eastern League in 1994. His career record, including the majors and minors, is 42-39 with 36 saves. Originally signed by the Marlins as a non-drafted free agent in 1992. Attended Santa Monica Junior College and Lewis & Clark University.
AT THE PLATE
Baseball player you admired growing up: Darryl Strawberry, because we grew up in the same neighborhood. I watched him in high school all the way up to the big leagues.
Did you attend Crenshaw High School, the school where Strawberry and several other famous major leaguers went to school? I was supposed to - I live right around the corner from it. But I was bused out to Westchester High School.
Favorite college football team: Southern Cal.
You've had a lot to root for the last two years, haven't you? Yeah, but I used to root for USC in everything, baseball and basketball as well as football. My uncle went there, and I had other family members go to school there, too. So I always liked the school and the teams.
If you could meet one player, dead or alive, who would it be? Satchel Paige. He was a great pitcher, and he went through a lot of struggles. He had a hot temper, but he still was a great pitcher.
Favorite CD/song: "I Left My Wallet in El Segundo" by A Tribe Called Quest.
Favorite pizza topping: I don't eat pizza any more, but I'd say pineapple.
Favorite city in the International League, other than Toledo: I'd say Buffalo because it's a great town with a nice park and great fans.
If you were commissioner of baseball for a day, what would you do? I would have cheerleaders on top of the dugouts.
Favorite way to spend time away from the field: Relax and play with my daughters, Paige (10 years old), Sydney (3) and Lauren (1).
Favorite sports memory: When the Dodgers won the World Series thanks to Kirk Gibson's home run (1988).
Something nobody knows about you: I like making music, like hip-hop, R&B and jazz. I love doing it, but I don't have much time for it now. Right now it's a hobby, but I'd like get into it when baseball is over.
- John Wagner