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Norris all California prior to professional baseball

Bud Norris, RHP, Orioles
Hometown: Greenbrae, Calif.

Until the Astros drafted Norris in the sixth round of the 2006 MLB Draft, the 29-year-old starting pitcher's entire athletic career had been based in California.

In high school, Norris became the starting quarterback on the freshman team despite his slight 5-foot-3 frame. Norris played four years of high school baseball, which came at San Marin High School in Novato, and he also competed at various levels in basketball, swimming, golf and water polo.

Norris' competitive fire has been a welcome addition to the Orioles, who are aiming for their first World Series title since 1983. He's always had that confidence, too. He earned the nickname Bud -- his real name's David -- when he tried ordering a beer at a Mexican restaurant when he was 3.

David Wilson is an associate reporter for
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