Sept. 26, 2013
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Former Northwestern catcher Geoff Rowan has moved on from Evanston to the ranks of professional baseball, but along the way he hasn't forgotten what it means to give back to the community.
As a nod to his unwavering commitment to service, Rowan was presented with the Tampa Bay Rays 2013 Erik Walker Community Champion award. The award is bestowed annually upon a member of the Rays Minor League organization who best exemplifies teamwork, sportsmanship and community involvement. The honor is named after Erik Walker, a former pitcher in the Rays organization, who passed away in 2006.
Rowan played with Tampa Bay's Class A affiliate, the Bowling Green Hot Rods, in 2013. During his stint in South Central Kentucky, the Naperville, Ill., native was involved with scores of local organizations. Rowan both ran baseball camps and led Faith and Family nights at Bowling Green Ballpark. He made several guest appearances around the community. Rowan and his teammates also hosted outings for kids and helped to raise money for a local homeless shelter.
As a Wildcat, Rowan played in 175 ballgames, starting 149 of those contests. He was a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and he appeared on the watch list for the Johnny Bench Award, which honors the nation's top collegiate catcher. The durable backstop was drafted out of Northwestern by the Rays last June in the 39th round of the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.
Rowan spent his first summer in professional baseball with the Hudson Valley Renegades of the Class A Short-Season New York-Penn League. After capturing a championship in Hudson Valley last season, the former Wildcat appeared in 22 games with the Hot Rods in 2013.
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