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ASU's 50 Best Professional Athletes No. 19: Baseball's Willie Bloomquist

Willie Bloomquist #30

There are plenty of former baseball players on our list of Arizona State’s 50 best professional athletes (15 of them, to be exact), but none of them were as diversified defensively as Willie Bloomquist.

The ultimate utility guy, Bloomquist spent time at every position (save for pitcher and catcher) throughout his 15-year MLB career.

Before spending all of those years in the majors, Bloomquist attended South Kitsap High School in Port Orchard, Washington. After dominating the competition there, the Seattle-area product was natural selection for the Seattle Mariners after graduating from high school.

Bloomquist turned down the Mariners, however, opting instead for a baseball scholarship at Arizona State. He raked in the accolades while with the Sun Devils, winning Pac-10 Player of the Year in 1999 and setting a College World Series record the year before that for hits in a single game.

His success resulted in a second selection by the Mariners, this time five rounds higher (third round, 95th overall). Bloomquist was called up by Seattle in 2002 and spent seven seasons in his first stint there, providing assistance at nearly every defensive spot.

The maroon and gold standout then finished his professional career bouncing around multiple organizations, eventually coming back to the Mariners before retiring after the 2015 campaign.

His retirement announcement came via bat flip on Twitter, serving as a fitting end for an interesting career.

Bloomquist finished his MLB career with a .269 average and 225 RBIs.

Check back tomorrow to see who will be No. 18 on our list of the 50 best professional athletes to come out of Arizona State.