Eric Riggs- Back Again and Having Fun

Eric Riggs has learned not to slam the door when you're leaving. Leave it ajar just a bit- you never know when you'll walk that way again. Eric's first tour with the Dodgers started in 1998 when he was drafted in the fourth round. He'd been a hotshot basketball player back home in Indianapolis, who'd earned a scholarship to play that sport at Central Florida.

Baseball was something of a side interest then but that was the sport he got drafted in so it became his full time occupation.

He went on to play seven years in the Dodger system. His best year was 2003 when he hit .280 for Las Vegas while playing in 125 games. Still, the next season found him shunted back to AA and when it ended he went to free agency.

Signed by the Astros he spent 2005 in the Texas League where he hit .261. That wasn't enough for them, either, so once again, he was cut loose.

This year it seemed for a time he would have to settle for independent ball, the game's version of the court of appeals. However, just before that was to occur, the Dodgers had a shortage at Vegas, caused by injuries and call-ups so they beckoned once again. Riggs was quick to accept the offer.

Both sides are glad it happened. He's certainly been versatile. He's played second, short, third- heck, he's used to those. But when James Loney was called up, they handed him a first baseman's glove so he took over there.

He's been hitting, too. Of course, everybody seems to at Las Vegas but he doesn't have to apologize when he goes to the plate for his average has stayed well over .300. In all, this may be his best season yet.

He'll turn 30 on Aug. 19 . He's in his ninth year as a pro and never in that time has he ever had even a chance to make it to the big leagues.

So, okay, maybe he's a Crash Davis- you know, playing out the string in the minors . But while he's doing that, like the fabled Crash in "Bull Durham", he's helping his team and having fun doing it.

As jobs go, it's not bad. Not bad, at all.

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