Former Cal State East Bay baseball player Archie Gilbert joined the rest of the Midland RockHounds in celebrating their Texas League championship on Sept. 20, after the Oakland Athletics' AA-affiliate topped Northwest Arkansas in the decisive fourth game of the best-of-five championship series.
Gilbert, a 2005 East Bay grad, has now been a part of two straight championship teams after helping the Stockton Ports take home the California League title in 2008.
An Association of Division III Independents first-team All-Independent selection, Gilbert hit .358 over four seasons as a Pioneer, writing his name into the record books as one of the most prolific hitters and base stealers in Cal State East Bay history. Hailing from Hayward, Calif., Gilbert holds the Pioneer career records for runs (169), hits (243), RBI (148), doubles (53) and triples (15). The James Logan High School product also ranks second all-time in homeruns with 26 and is among the top 10 in walks, stolen bases and batting average.
Gilbert contributed a homerun in the Rockhounds' 7-6 victory over the Naturals on Sept. 16 and finished the season batting .283 with three homeruns and 29 stolen bases to his name. The RockHounds clinched the South Division with a 41-29 record in the second half of the season and rebounded from a series-opening, 11-5, loss to Northwest Arkansas to capture the title with four-straight wins, including a 4-2 victory in 12 innings to end the series.
Last season, Gilbert played with the California League's Stockton Ports, the Athletics' single-A affiliate, collecting 2008 California League Postseason Most Valuable Player honors. The Ports downed the Lancaster Jethawks in four games, with Gilbert driving in six runs in the series opener and going 3-for-5 with an RBI and two runs in the finale to take home the MVP hardware. Gilbert batted over .600 in the postseason and drove in eight runs in the four-game series. Gilbert also added his name to the Ports' record book in 2008, hitting for the cycle on June 19, 2008, and posting a California League season-high 25-game hitting streak in April and May.
The Ports recognized Gilbert's success with Archie Gilbert Bobblehead Day at Banner Island Ballpark this season, giving away collectibles featuring Gilbert's likeness on July 11. Gilbert was originally signed by the Boston Red Sox as a non-drafted free agent in 2005 before being picked up by the Chicago White Sox in May 2006. The Oakland Athletics signed Gilbert to a Minor League contract on Dec. 14, 2007.
After two straight successful seasons in minor league baseball, Gilbert looks poised to continue his rise up the ranks of the Athletics' organization.