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Former Sooner Chris Jakubauskas has unusual success story
BY MIKE BALDWIN Staff Writer firstname.lastname@example.org | Published: May 26, 2011
On rare occasions, players who were never drafted reach the major leagues.
Chris Jakubauskas' story, though, is more unique than going undrafted.
An outfielder/first baseman at Oklahoma, Jakubauskas never threw a pitch for the Sooners. His bat wasn't good enough to play professionally.
Even though he hadn't pitched since high school, Jakubauskas turned an open tryout in 2003 into an opportunity to pitch in the Frontier League.
Major leagues? Long shot would be an understatement. Jakubauskas was playing in an independent league not associated with any of the 30 major league teams.
The odds grew longer when Jakusbauskas went 4-9 his first season.
But he steadily improved. Three years later, Jakubauskas was signed by the Seattle Mariners.
Major leagues? Not, yet.
Jakubauskas pitched for three Seattle minor league teams.
At age 30, long after his college career ended, Jakubauskas filled a rotation spot for the Mariners.
The past three seasons, Jakubauskas has bounced between the minors and majors but has logged more than 100 major league innings with the Mariners, Pirates and Orioles.