The Minor League Game of the Week

Jordan Walden made his professional debut on June 21, 2007 against Ogden.

June 21, 2007 — Jordan Walden makes his professional debut as the Orem Owlz host their Pioneer League rivals, the Ogden Raptors. Click Here to listen to the game. You need Windows Media Player to listen.

Orem and Ogden have a great rivalry. Orem is to the south of Salt Lake City. Ogden is to the north. Orem is in the heart of Mormon country. Ogden is a blue-collar community descended from the Old West’s major railroad hub. Orem is an Angels affiliate, Ogden is a Dodgers’ affiliate.

It’s always fun when these two teams hook up. Ogden fans drive down to Orem and get rowdy. Orem fans will drive up to Ogden to support their players, but get razzed by the blue-collar crowd. Ogden has staged promotions making fun of their Mormon friends.

But there are a lot more division titles and pennant in Orem than in Ogden. Nyah.

As noted, J-Wal makes his first start. Walden would go on to start for the Owlz in the Pioneer League title game against Great Falls. He recently ranked third on the 2007 Top 10 Prospects Report. In my recent interview with Angels’ farm director Abe Flores, he compared Walden to John Lackey. Some have compared Walden to Roger Clemens (without the HGH allegations).

Plenty other players contribued in this game. Second baseman Hector Estrella was 3 for 4 with a homer and two singles. Right fielder Donato Giovanatto was 3 for 4 with two doubles and a single. Shortstop Jerry Gonzalez added three singles.

This was the third game of the season for the Owlz, who ended up the Pioneer League champions yet again under manager Tom Kotchman.

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