Livermore residents have a good reason on June 27 to tune in to watch some golf on ESPN2. Casie Cathrea, 17, of Livermore, has qualified for the U.S. Women's Open. She won a sectional qualifying tournament in Daly City in order to make it into one of golf's most prestigious competitions, being held in New York from June 27 to June 30.
A golfer since age 5 who plays often at Poppy Ridge in Livermore, Casie has already played in two LPGA events. She attended a private independent-study school because golfing required so much travel and will attend Oklahoma State in the fall.
Let's congratulate her as she joins Livermore's long list of professional athletes, including future Hall of Fame pitcher Randy Johnson, Cy Young winner
Mark Davis and my great uncle, Max Baer, a heavyweight boxing champion.
Baer is known to many Livermore residents as the namesake of Max Baer Park. He may also be known to many as the villain in the movie "Cinderella Man," starring Russell Crowe. Those who know the real story of Max Baer's life know that the movie gave us a historically inaccurate portrayal of the man, but that is a subject for another column.
For now, let's take a look at some other Livermore natives that made it to the pros.
Granada High pride: Lefty reliever Erick Threets, a Granada High School grad, was drafted by the Giants in 2000. He worked his way up their minor league system and pitched for the Giants in brief stints in 2007 and 2008.
Threets became a free agent, and after pitching well in the minors for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2009, 2010 looked to be his breakout year. He signed with the White Sox, was given a shot on their big league club and was looking dominant when disaster struck.
He had pitched 121/3 innings without giving up an earned run when he injured his throwing arm while pitching against the Yankees, requiring Tommy John surgery and more than a year of rehab. The Oakland Athletics, who are always on the lookout for potential undervalued comeback players, gave him a shot. Threets played in the minors for the Athletics last year and pitched very well in spring training and for the Sacramento Rivercats, posting a 1.84 ERA in 44 innings and even grabbing a few saves as a closer. Unfortunately, he was blocked by too many strong lefties on the big league club and was released. I can't find him on any roster at the moment, but I hope he makes it back on a team soon. If any Livermore residents have any updates on his career, please let me know.
Livermore High pride: Gavin Glinton was drafted by the Los Angeles Galaxy in 2002, and played two years in Major League Soccer before switching to the United Soccer League. Glinton then got another shot on the Galaxy in 2007, when he scored four goals as an important role player.
Glinton played for the Earthquakes in 2008, and in 2009 Glinton went back to the USL, a professional league in the U.S., Canada and Mexico that folded in 2010.
Now Glinton plays for the Turks and Caicos Islands national team, the place of his birth. The Turks and Caicos Islands is a British Overseas Territory near the Bahamas with a population of only about 31,500. Glinton helped the national team to its first FIFA international win by scoring a goal against the Cayman Islands nationals team. Glinton plays on the team with his younger brother, Duane, another Livermore High alumni.
I played soccer with both brothers at Livermore High and I am proud to have been beat bad by them in practices. Their ball control and calmness under pressure was what impressed me most about seeing them play. It didn't surprise me that both of them went on to great things in soccer.
If I am forgetting any other Livermore residents that went pro in any sport, send me an email.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.