SEATTLE -- Former Washington quarterback Johnny DuRocher
signed his Mariners contract on Monday, three days after Seattle
drafted him, and will report to Seattle's extended spring training
The Mariners gave DuRocher, who had brain surgery in November, a
tour of their team facilities at Safeco Field after he signed his
minor league deal. They then announced the right-hander and
34th-round draft choice taken on what team area scout Jim
Fitzgerald called "a flyer" will travel to Peoria, Ariz., on
Wednesday to begin work at their extended spring training camp.
The 6-foot-4, 215-pound DuRocher appeared in just four games and
threw only six innings this season for Washington. That was his
first baseball action since 2001 when he was a sophomore catcher at
Bethel High School in Graham.
His baseball action came after UW coach Tyrone Willingham all
but ruled him out of playing football for the Huskies because
DuRocher had a plate and screws placed in his head on Nov. 30 when
doctors removed a non-cancerous brain tumor. The tumor was
discovered during a CAT scan and a series of MRIs at UW Medical
Center following a concussion DuRocher sustained Washington's 20-3
loss to Stanford last Nov. 11.
DuRocher quarterbacked in two games for the Huskies last season,
completing five of 17 passes for one touchdown and 44 yards, with
two interceptions. He transferred to Washington after redshirting
as a freshman at Oregon in 2003.
The Mariners were impressed with DuRocher's arm strength,
athleticism and his eagerness to play baseball.