Alex Hinshaw made his major league debut with the Giants in May 2008, striking out the first batter he faced — two-time All-Star Michael Bourn. That set the stage for a strong rookie season, as the southpaw went on to post a 3.40 ERA over 39 2/3 innings. He took the ball 48 times that year, leading the team’s relievers (minimum 20 innings) with a 26.3% strikeout rate and ranking second on the club in ERA.
Hinshaw made nine appearances in 2009 but spent the 2010-11 campaigns in the high minors of the San Francisco system. He continued pitching and was rewarded for his perseverance with a return to the big leagues in 2012. He split that season between the Padres and Cubs, making 33 cumulative appearances. Hinshaw appeared in the Blue Jays’ system, independent ball and the Venezuelan winter league over the next couple seasons and retired after the 2014 campaign.
Hinshaw comes from a rather atypical baseball background. His mother immigrated to the United States from Afghanistan. In February 2013, he told Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star he learned to speak a bit of Farsi as part of his upbringing. A Southern California native, he went on to play college ball at San Diego State University, where Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn was serving as head coach.
MLBTR was happy to welcome Alex for a chat this afternoon. Click here to view the transcript.
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I’ve never heard of this guy, but as someone who also has a parent from the Middle East who speaks Farsi, I think that’s awesome. He’s one of only two ballplayers I can think of from that part of the Middle East or just the Middle East in general, with Yu Darvish. Many don’t realize he is half-Persian and it is hardly discussed: he is thought of as just Japanese. Darvish is a Persian name.
As a Giants fan I remember Alex. No doubt there are others of Persian descent, but I was really impressed that he could speak Farsi. I really enjoyed this chat.
Please, Hammer. Don't hurt 'em.
Great info @richt. I had no idea Darvish was part Persian or that Darvish is a Persian name and I worked for a Persian company. I was the only person there who didn’t speak Farci as a first language. I’m sure a lot of people didn’t know that either. I always thought Darvish was Japanese.
I’f I remember correctly; Alex Wilson was born in Saudi Arabia. Decent reliever for the Red Sox, Tigers, and Brewers.
I find it interesting that he made it to the bigs as a relief pitcher, but didn’t actually start pitching until his mid-teens
I want to know the rest of the Randy Johnson story!