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Edgar Gonzalez realizes the dream

PORTLAND, OR: When you are a 30th-round pick - if you get a free pair of spikes from the team that drafted you, well then you just received your signing bonus. The opportunities to make the big leagues, and getting on the short-season minor league team is no picnic either – close to winning the lottery.

But one thing you will be given is a chance. A chance. If you perform, you could someday be a big league baseball player. In 2000, Edgar Gonzalez was the 30th-round pick of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and took his shot. This year, he began his ninth year in the minor leagues, never having played a game in the majors, despite a career batting average of .297 and hitting .308 last year for the...

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