Thunderbolts: Mike Torres sets league’s consecutive games played mark
By Steve MIllar For Sun-Times Media June 1, 2014 11:26PM
Mike Torres, of the ThunderBolts, slides into third base with a RBI triple for the season opener against the Frontier Grey, Friday, May 17th, 2014 in Crestwood. | Gary Middendorf/for Sun-Times Media
Updated: July 3, 2014 6:21AM
Mike Torres is now the Cal Ripken of the Frontier League.
The Windy City ThunderBolts’ second baseman broke the league’s consecutive games played record May 25 when he appeared in his 287th consecutive game. He’s since extended it to 292 entering Sunday.
The record had belonged to former Windy City player Stephen Holdren, who played in every game in the 2009 to 2011 seasons while playing for three different clubs.
The last time Torres sat was May 31, 2011.
“It’s definitely one of those things that’s a little bittersweet,” Torres said. “It means that I’ve been here the whole time and never got to affiliated ball. At the same time, it’s a cool record to have. I take a lot of pride in being able to go out and play every day.”
Torres is in his fifth season with Windy City, where he’s spent his entire professional career. After finishing his career at the University of Texas, Torres was initially signed by the Southern Illinois Miners, but was traded to the T-Bolts before the 2010 season began. He’s been an All-Star every season.
Beginning his career with the T-Bolts as a shortstop and third baseman, Torres moved to second when fellow Windy City legend Gilberto Mejia retired after the 2010 season and has been there pretty much every game since.
“Having a guy like Torres is great,” T-Bolts manager Ron Biga said. “You can count on him being out there every day. He’s a great clubhouse guy and a great leader.”
Torres takes pride in his offseason workout program and always comes into the season ready to go. Of course, some of his streak can be attributed to luck as well.
“There are all the fluky injuries that happen,” he said. “I’ve been able to avoid those.”
Torres said he found out about the record when he got a text from former Windy City pitcher Mike Recchia, now in the White Sox organization.
“He texted me ‘Congrats’ and I had to write back and ask him what he was talking about,” Torres said. “I had no idea.”
Moving on: Standard Bank Stadium has been a popular scouting spot for the Arizona Diamondbacks of late. The D-backs, who signed T-Bolts pitcher Zak Wasserman on May 24 after just one impressive relief appearance for Windy City, came calling again this weekend.
On Saturday, Arizona signed Windy City starting pitcher Markus Solbach. The native of Dormagen, Germany, was 1-1 with a sparkling 0.85 ERA in 21 innings over three starts with the T-Bolts.
It’ll be the second chance at affiliated ball for Solbach, who was signed out of Germany by the Minnesota Twins.
The move leaves a big hole in the T-Bolts’ rotation, which was already missing Dyllon Nuernberg due to injury.