Sept. 24, 2003
DURHAM, NC - Former Bruin Garrett Atkins has been named to the 2003 Olympic Qualifying Team Trials roster, USA Baseball and Major League Baseball announced today. He will join 28 other professional players in Phoenix, Arizona, October 3-23 for the trials.
Atkins, who played in 22 games for the Colorado Rockies this season, hit .319 at AAA Colorado Springs. A fifth round draft pick in 2000 by the Rockies, Atkins was a Carolina League All-Star in 2002 and the Co-MVP of the Northwest League in 2000.
While at UCLA, Atkins led the Bruins to the Super Regionals in 2000. The Irvine native was UCLA's first three-time All-American and ranks second in the career record books with 276 hits and third with a .369 batting average.
The 29 players will be vying for 24 roster spots on the United States Olympic Qualifying Team that will be managed by Frank Robinson at the 2004 Athens Summer Olympic Games Baseball Qualifying Tournament for the Americas in Panama City, Panama, October 30 - November 10. The Team USA trials roster is subject to change during the trials process, as the final 24-man roster that will travel to Panama will not be announced until October 24. Team USA opens pool play in the event on October 31 vs. Colombia.
"Major League Baseball would like to thank the 30 Major League clubs for their continuing cooperation in providing USA Baseball with an outstanding group of professional players," said Sandy Alderson, Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations for Major League Baseball. "With Frank Robinson guiding this team, we believe that they will give the United States a tremendous chance to return to the Olympic Games in 2004 to defend its gold medal."
The current roster includes 12 players with Major League experience, nine first-round picks from Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft, and nine players that have played for USA Baseball in the past, including a pair of Olympic gold medalists from Tommy Lasorda's roster in Sydney.
Team USA will play a total of 12 exhibition games against each of the Arizona Fall League's six teams, beginning Friday, October 10 against the Mesa Solar Sox at HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.