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ASU's 50 Best Professional Athletes No. 27: Baseball's Don Wakamatsu

We continue our summer series counting down the 50 greatest professional athletes to have attended Arizona State, hitting the diamond for No. 27.

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Don Wakamatsu has spent time in just about every possible capacity in the sport of baseball. Whether it be as a player, a manager, scout, or assistant coach, Wakamatsu has seen it all throughout his professional career.

That career just happened to start at Arizona State, making him No. 27 on our list of the 50 greatest professional athletes to come out of the school.

Born in Hood River, Oregon, Wakamatsu spent part of his early years between Oregon and Hayward, California. He would attend Hayward High School, starring in both football and baseball there. When it was time to pick a college, Wakamatsu chose to be a Sun Devil.

The decision was a sound one, as the Hayward product would go on to win All-Conference honors three times while playing alongside Barry Bonds.

Wakamatsu was drafted twice in his time with the maroon and gold, first as the last overall pick in the 1984 MLB Draft, then in the 11th round by the Cincinnati Reds after his next season. He spent most of his playing career toiling around various farm systems, eventually getting called up to the Chicago White Sox in 1991.

While in Chicago, the catcher notched a .250 average at the plate to go along with a .273 on-base percentage.

Soon thereafter, however, Wakamatsu would trade in his player's uniform for a manager's uniform. He was named Manager of the Year in the California League in 1998, then earned his first Major League job five years later as a bench coach with the Texas Rangers.

Wakamatsu was hired as the manager of the Seattle Mariners in 2009 before being let go one year later. He has since bounced around multiple different organizations, serving as a bench coach or scout for three different MLB clubs.

His son, Luke, is currently playing in the Cleveland Indians' organization.

Check back tomorrow to see who will be No. 26 on our list of the 50 best professional athletes to come out of Arizona State.