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  1. Peter Alonso becomes Tim Tebow's teammate and a big fan


    TAMPA — Before he was a top Mets prospect, before he was an All-SEC baseball player for Florida, before he was a star at Jesuit and Plant, Peter Alonso was just a devastated Ohio State fan.

    Peter Alonso, center, is congratulated by Gators teammates after hitting a two-run home run in the  2016 College World Series. When he arrived in Gainesville, Alonso realized how big Tim Tebow truly was to UF fans. [Associated Press]
  2. Local umpire Mike McCullough makes the cut for Little League World Series


    ST. PETERSBURG — Mike McCullough wasn't much of a baseball player growing up in St. Petersburg. He went to Bishop Barry (now St. Petersburg Catholic) and Eckerd College before settling into his job as postmaster in Ruskin.

    Mike McCullough will be one of 16 umpires calling games at the Little League World Series.
  3. Lakewood High product Bo Bichette returns to bay area with Dunedin Blue Jays

    The Heater

    CLEARWATER — Bo is back.

    A little more than a year after being picked by the Blue Jays in the second round of the 2016 draft, former Lakewood standout Bo Bichette is back in Tampa Bay. He made his debut with advanced Class A Dunedin on Monday night at Spectrum Field. He was the DH and batted second.

    U.S. Team infielder Bo Bichette (10) fouls one off in the seventh inning of the All-Star Futures Game between The U.S. Team and the World Team at Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. on Sunday, July 9, 2017.
  4. Man falsely imprisoned for 27 years returns to his Tampa field of dreams

    The Heater

    Jimmie C. Gardner, 52, was released from prison last year April after being wrongfully convicted of a sexual assault and armed robbery charges back in 1990. [OCTAVIO JONES   |   Times]
  5. Tampa Bay Times' all-Tampa Bay baseball teams


    All-Pinellas Pitcher of the Year Connor Churchill (left) of East Lake and Player of the Year Eric Kennedy of Calvary Christian. (Jim Damaske, Times)
  6. Tampa Bay Times' all-Pinellas County baseball teams


    Player of the Year: Eric Kennedy, Jr., Calvary Christian

    Calvary Christian's Eric Kennedy (Douglas R. Clifford, Times)
  7. Tampa Bay Times' all-Hillsborough County baseball teams


    Player of the Year: Jordan Butler, Sr., Alonso

    King's  Brian Lee (Loren Elliott, Times)
  8. Tampa Bay Times' all-North Suncoast baseball teams


    North Suncoast Player of the Year: John Oliveira, Sr., Springstead

    Springstead's John Oliveira (Brendan Fitterer, Special to the Times)
  9. Ex-Seminole star Brett Phillips enjoys first taste of the bigs

    The Heater

    Brett Phillips' major-league debut was only supposed to last one day. The former Seminole High standout was called up by the Brewers from Triple-A Colorado Springs on June 5 to play against the Giants and pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

    Brett Phillips of the Milwaukee Brewers signs an autograph for a fan prior to the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on June 9, 2017 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
  10. No second-guessing career path for Clearwater Threshers manager Shawn Williams

    The Heater

    CLEARWATER — It's probably the toughest decision an aspiring Major League Baseball player can make — the one to no longer aspire.

    Shawn Williams, a former Clearwater Central Catholic standout, coaches the Florida State League’s Clearwater Threshers.