Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Local Flavor

Every once in a while, usually around 2 a.m. as I'm settling into bed, a thought pops into my head. Most of the time, I let it go, but occasionally I'll remember the next day or even climb out of bed and hit the computer that night. Something inspired me earlier this week to check some of the places I've lived and attended school to look for people who made it big.

I already knew about Dakota and Elle Fanning and Holly Hunter, all of whom came from the town where I spent the last six years of my life teaching.

After extensive research involving Wikipedia, I found an MLB player from my hometown. It turns out Nick Markakis graduated from a high school in my old neighborhood. He went there while I was in college, so there's no chance that I went to school with him, but I worked just down the street from the school at the local Blockbuster Video during those years so it's highly possible he and I crossed paths while he was honing his skills at Woodstock High School. Woodstock is a fairly large suburb of Atlanta now, but when I first moved there Woodstock was still a fairly small town, and it doesn't turn out a yearly crop of draftees.

Markakis is currently in his sixth season playing for the Orioles, with a career batting average near .300 and nearly 100 home runs. He's known for his defense and strong arm - he used to be a pitcher. He's also a former Olympian, but you won't see him on any Team USA cards, since he played for Greece in 2004.

Not only did Nick attend high school in the same town I did, he, like me, relocated to the area at around the same age, and like me, he is of Greek and German ancestry.

In honor of Nick Markakis being the only player I can find who grew up in my hometown, I've decided to add him to my personal player collection. Thankfully, with the simple goals in that collection, I won't have too big of a fight with all the rabid devoted Orioles fans out there, except with the bat and jersey cards.

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