There's one place where the term "dirtbag" is not a pejorative: around the baseball facilities at Long Beach State. They're officially the 49ers, but the Long Beach team proudly wears the sub-nickname "Dirtbags".
And today, Dirtbag Nation is thrilled by the accomplishments of John Bowker. The Sacramento-area product has just become the first San Francisco Giant ever to homer in his first two big-league games.
Bowker was drafted by the Giants out of "The Beach" four years ago and came to the Giants' spring-traing camp this year wearing number 70. That's generally a pretty good sign that when the "big club" heads north, you'll be shuffling off to the minor leagues. And indeed, Bowker did start the season in Fresno.
But a couple of injuries and a slow start left the Giants desperate for someone, anyone, who could show a little power from the left side. Enter Bowker.
Before Giants fans get too thrilled, please remember that among the handful of Giants to homer in their first big-league game was Johnnie LeMaster. But it's a hell of a start. And for a Giants organization that has shown little ability to draft and groom position players in recent years, Bowker could be a Dirtbag from heaven.