Jan. 30, 2004
Jed Lowrie entered Stanford as a mostly unheralded player last season but quickly rose right to the top of a talented 2003 freshman class that included highly-touted players such as John Mayberry, Jr. and Mark Romanczuk. He found himself starting at third base during much of the first half of the season, before taking over as the club's full-time starter at second for the final 29 contests. Lowrie finished the year with a .292 batting average, adding 28 RBI and five stolen bases, while playing excellent defense. He was even better during Pac-10 action with a .338 batting average and hit .500 to earn a spot on the All-Tournament team at his first NCAA Regional.
If you take a look back at Lowrie's childhood, it would come as no surprise that he made such an early and immediate impact on the Stanford Baseball program. His foundation for the future was built by his father, Dan, whom Lowrie gives a tremendous amount of credit for his development and success.
'There is no way I would be where I am today without him,' said Lowrie with a wide grin. 'My dad has always been there for me and has provided everything as far as baseball goes. I can't thank him enough.'
Lowrie appreciates the time, money and effort that his father has spent on him.
'I was the kid who was at every camp,' recalled Lowrie, who also took lots of pricey private baseball lessons as a youngster. 'He does put pressure on me to succeed both in baseball and academics, but that's made me a stronger person because I've always had to deal with that pressure. Looking back on it, I wouldn't have changed a whole lot.'
Dan has not only provided the means for his only child to succeed but has also made the effort and taken the time to physically be there during his son's development. A Vice-President of Agricultural Loans at West Coast Bank, the elder Lowrie has even shortened his regular work week to four days, primarily to get a chance to watch most of Jed's games. When the Cardinal plays in the Bay Area, that means Dan and his wife, Miriam, normally rent a car and drive 11 hours each way for a three-game series.
Jed has some good stories about his father's legendary driving prowess, like the one when Dan drove 15 straight hours working on mostly coffee and water in a far-flung attempt to get Jed from a Legion baseball tournament in Wyoming back to Oregon for a summer basketball camp, or last June when he ventured out on the roads for a trek nearly halfway across the country to Omaha for the College World Series.
'My dad is a machine when it comes to driving,' laughed Lowrie, who claims that his parents made it to the Bay Area for all but two of his home series last season and are planning to be here again this weekend to watch their son make his projected debut as the team's starting shortstop after the graduation of 2003 starter Tobin Swope.
A natural shortstop with a tremendous throwing arm, the humble-natured Lowrie is confident that his move back to shortstop will be a smooth one.
'I played shortstop for most of my career before last season, so although I haven't played a game there in college yet, I think it will be a pretty quick adjustment,' reasoned Lowrie. 'Moving to second base last year was more of an adjustment.'
His main adjustment this season may come when he steps to the plate.
'Last year I was more of an average type of hitter, but I've gotten a little bit stronger and hopefully that will add more power to my offensive game,' said Lowrie, who has put on about 10 pounds after lifting weights six days a week late last summer following the conclusion of his summer baseball season in Alaska. 'I was able to hit with more power this past fall, and now I just need to carry that over to the season. Mentally, my approach is a bit different. I'm going to take a little more aggressive swings when I'm ahead in the count.'
Which is right where his foundation for the future put him.
by Kyle McRae