From the Sacramento Bee, 10 days ago:
Bobby Cramer left baseball five years ago, a former girlfriend convincing him it was time to get on with his life.
That relationship ended. But Cramer's love for the game didn't, even when he was substitute teaching, doing law enforcement work and spending a year working for Shell Oil.
So the left-handed pitcher returned to baseball in 2007, working his way from Class-A Stockton to Double-A Midland to Triple-A Sacramento, pitching once in the postseason during the River Cats' run to a Pacific Coast League championship.
Since then, he's played for Midland, Sacramento, Stockton, the Orange County Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League and Quintana Roo of the Mexican League before rejoining the Cats in time for this season's PCL Pacific South Division pennant race.
Cramer, an Anaheim native who played for Long Beach State and was in the Tampa Bay organization until 2005, has never played in the major leagues.
But he hasn't given up the dream. And he said his current girlfriend is supportive of his goal.
"I'm hoping the success I have this year will bring me something," said Cramer, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.
"I understand how things work. I understand it's going to be a tough decision for them (the A's) to make.
"I'd love to make it to the major leagues if the right opportunity came along."
It's come along. With Vin Mazzaro recently exiled to San Francisco, the A's need another starter. And as Susan Slusser reported this morning, "I'm told that Bobby Cramer is the guy who will take the fifth starter spot next Monday or Tuesday at Kansas City ..."
I'm told the same thing. I'm also told that Cramer throws his fastball in the 86-90 range, has a good cutter that's tough on right-handed hitters, knows how to pitch, and has big ... well, let's just say he doesn't scare easy out there.
He's probably not the new Jamie Moyer. But you have to pull for him against the Royals next week.