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Duluth grad Green joins 11th team

Photo by Jason Braverman

Photo by Jason Braverman

Texas is Nick Green's 11th organization. He hopes the Rangers will be his eighth major league team.

At 32, the Duluth graduate is still both a baseball survivor and a baseball dreamer. There is just more of a touch of reality now.

Green was acquired by the Rangers in a trade with Baltimore on July 19 as infield insurance and the change of scenery from one Class AAA league to the other has proven beneficial.

Although he was batter of the week in the International League in early July after a seven-RBI game with Norfolk, Green hit just .208 with the Tides. But he has gotten off to a strong start with Round Rock in the Pacific Coast League.

Green had four multi-hit outings in his first seven games with the Express and took a .324 average into the weekend.

With a homer and five RBIs for Round Rock, he had 11 homers and 51 RBIs overall in 95 games this year.

The one-time regular shortstop of the Boston Red Sox played three infield spots plus the outfield with Norfolk and has played both second base and shortstop with Round Rock.

"We needed a guy who could play shortstop," Texas manager Ron Washington said after Green was acquired. "... We wanted to make sure we were protected."

The well-traveled Green has played in 393 major league games with a .237 career average since breaking in with the Atlanta Braves in 2004. In addition to the Braves and Red Sox, he has also been with Tampa Bay, the New York Yankees, Seattle, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Toronto.

When Green signed with Baltimore over the winter, it was his 10th organization, counting stops with Pittsburgh and San Diego. Texas is No. 11 and Round Rock is his 14th minor league team in 12 professional seasons.

Still, Green soldiers on.

"As long as it's fun, I'll keep playing," Green said early in the season. "When I start thinking about killing myself, I'll know it's time to quit."