J.J. Hardy, SS, Orioles
Hometown: Tucson, Ariz.
It's not hard to trace J.J. Hardy's athleticism. His father Mark was a hopeful on the professional tennis circuit. His mother Susie was an amateur golfer, who played at the University of Arizona in Tucson and twice won the Iowa Women's Amateur.
"She was a soccer mom," Hardy said. "She would throw BP to us when we were in Little League. She was athletic enough to play catch with us and all that. It was great having her around."
It was in Tucson where J.J. developed into a Major League prospect. Hardy was a three-time All-State selection at Sabino High School and an All-American in 2001. That year, he was also part of the silver medal-winning United States junior national team and a second-round Draft pick for the Brewers.
Hardy's Tucson ties run deep. Last year, he married Adrienne Acton, a former softball player at Arizona who is also from the state.
David Wilson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.