Major league Tigers

Young ’02, Ohlendorf ’05, Venable ’05 lead alumni in pro baseball

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Princeton’s two major league pitchers are off to solid starts this season. Chris Young ’02 of the San Diego Padres won his first two starts, allowing two earned runs in 13 innings, and Ross Ohlendorf ’05 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitched well in his first start, a 2-1 loss to St. Louis. (He returns to the mound against Houston April 15.)

Other former Tigers have their sights set on reaching the majors — or returning, in the case of Will Venable ’05, an outfielder who played with the Padres during the last month of the 2008 season. Venable spent spring training with the major league club and started the regular season with the Triple-A Portland Beavers. Through April 14, he has hit safely in five consecutive games and has a .348 batting average.

Pitchers Tim Lahey ’04 (Triple-A Rochester) and Erik Stiller ’08 (Double-A Akron) also have a chance to reach the big leagues this year. Lahey has one save in two appearances and has not allowed a run. Stiller has three strikeouts and no walks in two brief relief stints.

One alumnus decided to leave pro baseball this spring: Infielder Steve Young ’04 (no relation to Chris), who starred with the independent Traverse City (Mich.) Beach Bums for the last three years, announced his retirement in March. Young joined the team in its inaugural season and won the Frontier League’s Citizenship Award in 2008. Jason Wuerfel, the team’s director of baseball operations, called Young “the heart and soul” of the Traverse City franchise.

Above, from left, Chris Young ’02, Ross Ohlendorf ’05, and Will Venable ’05 in September 2008. (Photo courtesy Liz Young ’02)

A frontiersman’s vision

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In the April 20 issue of The New Yorker, Dorothy Wickenden tells the story of Farrington Carpenter, Class of 1909, a lawyer and cattle rancher who decided to make his adopted hometown of Elkhead, Colo., into a first-class place to live.

Carpenter started with the school — a sturdy stone building that he had helped to design. He realized that by attracting smart young teachers from the East, he could both educate the children of the town and provide wives for the many single men in the community. The plan had mixed results, as Wickenden, the granddaughter of one of Elkwood’s first teachers, discovered in her research.

Read Wickenden’s story online (registration required) and view a narrated slideshow of Carpenter, teachers Rosamond Underwood and Dorothy Woodruff, and the Elkwood school.

Above, Farrington Carpenter 1909, center, with two Princeton classmates during his days at Harvard Law School. (Photo courtesy Class of 1909 Third Reunion Book)