Athlete Update

Brooks Badeaux was a four-year letterman with the Florida State Seminoles (1995-98), a spunky second baseman who played with heart and grit. In fact, Badeaux is the program's career-leader in walks (203) and ranks No. 10 in games played (254). The Territory recently caught up with Badeaux, now with the Triple A Durham Bulls. "As long as you have a uniform on, I guess there's still an opportunity and you have to go with the flow," Badeaux said. "I am hanging in there."

On the road between cities recently, Brooks Badeaux decided to make a surprise stop into Tallahassee, arriving in the wee hours of the morning.

"I am at Cash Hall getting our (summer) campers organized and in walks Brooks with a wide smile," said Chip Baker, Florida State's director of baseball operations.

"He had slept in his car in the parking lot (laughing). It's always good to see those guys."

Badeaux was a four-year letterman with the Seminoles (1995-98), a spunky second baseman who played with heart and grit. In fact, Badeaux is the program's career-leader in walks (203) and ranks No. 10 in games played (254).

Badeaux has spent the past five years chasing his childhood dream of playing in the major leagues. He's close. Badeaux is currently with the Durham Bulls, the Triple-A affiliate of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

"As long as you have a uniform on, I guess there's still an opportunity and you have to go with the flow," Badeaux told TheTerritory.org in a recent interview. "I am hanging in there."

The Bulls (50-46) are on the road against the Buffalo Bisons this weekend. The Bisons' pitching staff combined for 12 strikeouts in their 7-2 International League victory Saturday night. Badeaux, the Bulls' starting second baseman, went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .220.

Saturday also was a good day for another former ‘Nole and teammate of Badeaux's at Durham.

Outfielder Matt Diaz, called up to the Devil Rays from Triple-A Durham when Ben Grieve went on the disabled list, arrived in St. Petersburg after a lengthy flight from Buffalo.

Tampa Bay manager Lou Piniella said Diaz would start in left field today against the Texas Rangers. Diaz also could serve as the Rays' emergency catcher, having helped out there in spring training. Diaz said he expected 20-30 family members for today's game from nearby Lakeland, where he grew up, and Winter Haven, where he lives now.

Earlier this season, Badeaux also had the chance to play against Jeremy Salazar, his former roommate at FSU. While Diaz and other former ‘Noles such as J.D. Drew, Doug Mientkiewicz, Eduardo Perez and Paul Wilson have made it to The Show, Badeaux hasn't given up hope.

Around 30 former FSU players are currently on minor-league rosters.

"Some people make it there (big leagues) quickly," Badeaux said.

"I guess you could say it's perseverance. Sticking through the tough times and hopefully some good will come out of it."

Badeaux has had good and bad times during his minor league journey. He started this season on the disabled list with Durham. After early struggles, he was assigned to Double A Orlando before being shipped back to Durham on June 28.

"I've kind of been all over the place, just trying to get things back on track," Badeaux said.

Of course, Badeaux keeps a close eye on FSU.

He makes it back for homecoming in the fall and works out with the Seminoles each spring on his way to St. Petersburg for camp. His quick visit to FSU last month afforded him the opportunity to visit with Baker and get an up-close glimpse at the renovation to Dick Howser Stadium.

"(All the construction) is crazy," Badeaux said. "But it's going to be a beautiful stadium.

"But, yes, I try to keep up with (FSU). It's funny, but Stephen Drew, we called him Dirt when I was there. He would be running around shagging fly balls and hanging out. He would also take care of my little brother. We would all hang out at J.D.'s apartment, so that was fun. (We had) some good times."

Of course, Badeaux continues to have fun chasing his dream of playing in the major leagues one day.

"They (Devil Rays) have given me an opportunity and they've been fair to me, so I don't have any complaints," Badeaux said.


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