Tim Lincecum and Husky Baseball


This is a Guest Post by an aspiring young writer named Joel Condreay. He is hoping to someday be a sports journalist and he loves his hometown Huskies. 

Over the past few seasons, the Washington baseball program has struggled to compete in the difficult Pac-10 conference.

But despite their recent lack of success, there have been high points for the Huskies’ ball club in the last decade, including arguably the most accomplished ballplayer to come out of the University of Washington.

Right-hander Tim Lincecum graduated from Renton (Wash.) Liberty in 2003 and opted to dawn purple and gold despite being drafted by the Chicago Cubs.

Although Lincecum stood just 5-11 and weighed a mere 160 pounds, his fastball was clocked in the low to mid 90’s.  The hurler accompanied his high-velocity fastball with a devastating forkball, drop-curve, and slider.

While Lincecum was not built like stereotypical power pitchers who possess tall figures, long arms, and broad shoulders, the young righty’s frail frame was able to generate the maximum amount of explosiveness, thanks to an unorthodox windup designed by his father.

Lincecum experienced success in his first two seasons with the Huskies but had a phenomenal

season during his 2006 junior year. In 125 1/3 innings on the mound, he accumulated 199 strikeouts. Lincecum led the country in strikeouts per nine innings with 14.3. In addition, the Washington junior led the Pac-10 in ERA at 1.94 and racked up 12 wins, ranking him third in the conference.

In recognition of Lincecum’s remarkable year, he was rewarded by becoming the first Washington Husky to receive the Golden Spikes Award, given to the best amateur baseball player in the country.

Fresh off his collegiate success, Lincecum entered the 2006 MLB Draft, where he was selected tenth overall by the San Francisco Giants, much to the chagrin of Seattle Mariner fans, the hometown team having passed on him with their fifth overall pick, in favor of Brandon Morrow.

After being drafted, the Husky alum spent the remainder of the 2006 season in the Giants farm system, where he excelled at every level of completion. And on May 6, 2007, Lincecum made his major league debut, less than a year after beginning his stint in the minor leagues.

The youngster continued to dominate opposing hitters after reaching the major league level and won the Cy Young award in his first two full seasons at the Major League level. The former Husky became just the third pitcher to win the Cy Young award during his second season in the big leagues.

San Francisco’s newfound ace from Washington has continued his dominance in recent years while the University of Washington baseball program has struggled to stay competitive. The current struggles for the boys in purple and gold can be frustrating but the young Huskies under the eye of Coach Lindsay Meggs are poised to challenge the national powerhouses of the new Pac-12.

The question is, who will step up and become the next rock on Washington’s roster; the player who can be depended on every time he takes the field?

This void, which has been left open since the departure of Lincecum, needs to be filled before the Washington Huskies can again experience having a truly successful baseball program.