DuRocher gets chance with M's after tumor

Updated: June 12, 2007, 1:58 AM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- Former Washington quarterback Johnny DuRocher signed his Mariners contract on Monday, three days after Seattle drafted him, and will report to Seattle's extended spring training in Arizona.

The Mariners gave DuRocher, who had brain surgery in November, a tour of their team facilities at Safeco Field after he signed his minor league deal. They then announced the right-hander and 34th-round draft choice taken on what team area scout Jim Fitzgerald called "a flyer" will travel to Peoria, Ariz., on Wednesday to begin work at their extended spring training camp.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound DuRocher appeared in just four games and threw only six innings this season for Washington. That was his first baseball action since 2001 when he was a sophomore catcher at Bethel High School in Graham.

His baseball action came after UW coach Tyrone Willingham all but ruled him out of playing football for the Huskies because DuRocher had a plate and screws placed in his head on Nov. 30 when doctors removed a non-cancerous brain tumor. The tumor was discovered during a CAT scan and a series of MRIs at UW Medical Center following a concussion DuRocher sustained Washington's 20-3 loss to Stanford last Nov. 11.

DuRocher quarterbacked in two games for the Huskies last season, completing five of 17 passes for one touchdown and 44 yards, with two interceptions. He transferred to Washington after redshirting as a freshman at Oregon in 2003.

The Mariners were impressed with DuRocher's arm strength, athleticism and his eagerness to play baseball.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press