HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - It's no longer a secret that those with 808 ties dot the landscape of professional baseball. However, of the five Major League players who call Hawaii home, none are University of Hawaii alumni.
A trio of former Bows appear close to ending that distinction, one of them is pitcher Lenny Linsky. (Vinnie Catricala, Seattle Mariners and Kolten Wong, St. Louis Cardinals are the others).
In 2011, Linsky realized his dream to become a big leaguer, when the Tampa Bay Rays selected him in the 2nd round of the MLB draft (89th overall).
During his first run through the minor leagues, Linsky didn't disappoint, delivering a 3-0 record, a 1.23 E.R.A., while striking out 30 and walking just seven.
"I was very comfortable, I did the same thing I did here in Hawaii," said Linsky. I just got on the mound and tried to throw that thing right down the middle and tried to attack. It was just a lot of fun, I mean I just learned so much."
Despite the easy transition, Linsky says he's constantly looking to take that next step.
"More of a controlled delivery. If you guys saw me here (in Hawaii) I was a lot of limbs flying at you and I was all over the place. Coach Trap tried to get me to do that here, but I was too stubborn. But when I got there, they were like "do this," and I was like, ok, I'll do it," said Linsky.
His delivery may be reigned in, but Linsky insists the firey demeanor that became his trade mark is very much alive.
"It kind of rubbed some guys the wrong way. And some guys thought it was funny on the team. Like, who is this kid from UH just screaming and yelling? I take that as one of my edges that I like to hold on to."