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Australian Idol

Bill Shaikin -Premium Content

If kids in Southern California aspire to be Vladimir Guerrero or Kobe Bryant, kids in Australia aspire to be Ian Thorpe or Ricky Ponting. Thorpe recently retired as one of the best swimmers in history; Ponting is the captain of the national cricket team. Rich Thompson grew up in Sydney, playing every sport he could before deciding baseball offered him the brightest future. He signed with the Angels for $50,000 in 2002, and six years later he has a fastball registering in the mid-90s and a spot on the Opening Day roster.

Majors | #2008#Los Angeles Angels#Organization Reports