Aaron Ryan Rowand
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 1", Weight 200 lb.
- School California State University, Fullerton
- High School Glendora High School
- Debut June 16, 2001
- Final Game August 30, 2011
- Born August 29, 1977 in Portland, OR USA
Aaron Rowand was a major league ballplayer for eleven seasons, with the Chicago White Sox in 2001-2005, the Philadelphia Phillies in 2006-2007, and the San Francisco Giants in 2008-2011. His best year was perhaps in 2004, when he hit .310 and slugged .544.
Although he dropped off in production in 2005, he and the White Sox won the 2005 World Series. Since Rowand had been a centerpiece of the team, playing every day and being featured in club advertisements, it was a surprise to some when he was traded less than one month after playing on the Series winner. However, he got the last laugh, as the Phillies were 2nd in their division in 2006 (coming close to getting the wild card slot) while the White Sox finished 3rd in theirs. In 2007, the Phillies won a division title.
He played in college for California State University, Fullerton (he was a teammate of Matt Wise), and was a Big West Conference All-Star. He was drafted by the White Sox in the supplemental first round in the 1998 amateur draft, and hit .342 in Single A ball that summer in the South Atlantic League. He moved up the minor league ladder steadily from 1998 to 2001, not hitting .300 again, but showing some power by slugging over .500 at two stops and stealing some bases. He was a league All Star in the minors in both 1999 and 2000, and hit .295 in Triple A in 2001, the year he was called up to the majors for 63 games.
He suffered multiple injuries in 2002 after being in a motorcycle accident. His injuries included a shattered left shoulder blade, a punctured lung, two broken ribs, and permanent nerve damage in his neck.
He was injured again in 2006 this time in a game. The date was May 11th. The place was Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA. The Phillies were playing the New York Mets that day and with rain in the forecast every early run would be crucial. After Phillies starter Gavin Floyd got two quick outs to start the game, he ran into some trouble. He walked Carlos Beltran, Carlos Delgado, and David Wright all in succession to load the bases for Xavier Nady. After five pitches the count was full. Floyd's pitch was slammed to deep center by Nady. Then it happened. Rowand raced back at full speed, caught the ball against the wall and crashed face first into the wall. Amazingly he held on to the ball. The catch saved at least three runs. Rowand laid on the ground for a while, the whole time getting a standing ovation from the Philly faithful. Finally he got up, his nose bleeding into a towel and walked off the field. During the play Rowand suffered a broken nose and several lacerations on his face. The Phillies went on to win the game 2-0 in five innings, proving that without Rowand's catch they would likely have lost the game. For his part, Rowand went to the disabled list.
Later that year, Rowand suffered a season-ending broken ankle when he collided with second baseman Chase Utley. He did not have a particularly good offensive season in his 109 games, as his batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage were below his career averages in those categories.
He is nicknamed Crash for obvious reasons.
2007 was again a good season for Rowand, as he came close to his career highs in batting average and slugging percentage, while achieving career highs in doubles, homers and RBI.
On December 12, 2007, he signed a 5 year-60 million dollar contract with the San Francisco Giants. However, after a couple of decent seasons in 2008 and 2009, he fell badly in 2010 and 2011, hitting .230 and .233 respectively with little power and he was released before the end of that last season, with still a year left in his contract. He had been part of the Giants' World Series-winning team in 2010, going 1-for-4 with a triple and 2 RBIs against the Texas Rangers in the Fall Classic. He signed with the Miami Marlins for 2012 but failed to make the team and was released again at the end of spring training, bringing his career to an end.
As of 2010, Rowand's brother-in-law was the hitting coach at the College of Southern Nevada.
- NL All-Star (2007)
- NL Gold Glove Winner (2007)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2004 & 2007)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (2007)
- Won two World Series with the Chicago White Sox in 2005 and the San Francisco Giants in 2010