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Chris Valaika, member of Cincinnati Reds 40-man roster, first-generation Lithuanian-American 2010 06 02
It recently came to our attention that Chris Jakubauskas and Dovydas Neverauskas are not the only players with Lithuanian blood in the Minors or Majors. Chris Valaika is currently on the 40-man roster for the Cincinnati Reds.
Valaika is the starting shortstop for the Reds Triple-A farm team the Louisville Bats, where he is currently batting .304 with 56 hits in 51 games. Valaika was drafted by the Reds in the third round of the 2006 draft, and is currently # 6 on the Reds list of top prospects.
Chris Valaika was also a member of the U.S. National Baseball Team that won gold medals at the Pan-Am Games in Santo Domingo and at the 2004 World University Championship in Taiwan.
Chris Valaikas grandparents on both sides of his family were native-born Lithuanians, and his parents first-generation Lithuanian Americans.
In addition, both of Chris brothers, Matt and Patrick Valaika, are baseball standouts in their own right. Matt, also a shortstop, was drafted by the Reds in 2009 but opted to go to UC-Santa Barbara to play baseball. Patrick pitches for the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). The fourth brother, Nicky Valaika, is just in 8th grade but is said to be the most talented of all the brothers.
Read more about Chris and the Valaika brothers here:
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