There's a sad story today in the Houston Chronicle about a 23-year-old named Robbie Tolan, who was shot outside his home last Wednesday. He now has a bullet lodged in his liver. He's expected to survive, but his baseball career (written about at the bottom of the story) will probably end. Based on all available information so far, it seems like Tolan was nothing more than a victim of shameful police judgment and racial profiling.
The reason I bring this here is because many in the Nats organization know Tolan. He spent the 2007 season with the team as a minor leaguer, rising from the rookie-level Gulf Coast League to Class A Vermont, then Class A Hagerstown. All told, the reserve outfielder batted .210 with one homer and 10 RBI.
"He was with the organization in 2007, a good kid, worked hard," Nats player development director Bobby Williams said today. "He wasn't an everyday player, but he came to the park every day with a good attitude. You know, it's very unfortunate what happened.
"We signed him as a non-drafted free agent [in May or June of 2007]. He hadn't played professionally yet at that time."
Tolan was invited to spring training with the Nats in 2008, but the team couldn't find a spot for him and let him go. He ended up latching on with the Bay Area Toros of the independent Continental Baseball League.
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