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How close did you come to playing MLB?
#31

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
(02-21-2014, 02:18 PM)lilgman Wrote: To answer the original question of how close any of us came to playing in MLB...? Well, not close, but...... I played HS and made 3rd team all state my senior year, played college and was team MVP my senior year, and then was signed to play in the independent frontier league in 1998 for the Evansville Otters. I played one year of pro ball (well I was signed in July so a half of year since it is only 82 games) before going to graduate school. I come from a baseball family. I am a small guy, but always took pride in my hard work and it kind of paid off for me because one of my goals was to play professinal baseball....even if for a short time....and I feel I was realistic about my expectations, however I wish I gave it one more season. My brother was signed out of Rutgers University and played one year in the pioneer league for the Butte CopperKings and my father was drafted by the Phillies in 1969 and played about 5-6 years and made it to AA, actually making all-star teams and won an MVP in Single A as well. Here is a link to all three of our pages on baseballreference.com....

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl/pla...=Giallella
That's Awesome!! I got paid to play softball but never realized my dream of playing pro baseball.
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#32

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
(02-21-2014, 02:18 PM)lilgman Wrote: To answer the original question of how close any of us came to playing in MLB...? Well, not close, but...... I played HS and made 3rd team all state my senior year, played college and was team MVP my senior year, and then was signed to play in the independent frontier league in 1998 for the Evansville Otters. I played one year of pro ball (well I was signed in July so a half of year since it is only 82 games) before going to graduate school. I come from a baseball family. I am a small guy, but always took pride in my hard work and it kind of paid off for me because one of my goals was to play professinal baseball....even if for a short time....and I feel I was realistic about my expectations, however I wish I gave it one more season. My brother was signed out of Rutgers University and played one year in the pioneer league for the Butte CopperKings and my father was drafted by the Phillies in 1969 and played about 5-6 years and made it to AA, actually making all-star teams and won an MVP in Single A as well. Here is a link to all three of our pages on baseballreference.com....

http://www.baseball-reference.com/pl/pla...=Giallella
Awesome, thanks for sharing and the link...good stuff man! This is right up my ally.....I'm thinking your dad possibly played with Schmidt, Boone and some others. ?

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#33

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
Not close, but I do have a really neat story. The back story is this. I was a pretty good CF and lead off hitter with lots of speed (I ran the 100m and 200m on the track team) not much of an arm at all though. When 16, I was on a State Championship American Legion team that had 3 players play professional baseball and all but 3 played in college at some level, so there were plenty of scouts at the tournament (this comes into play later in the story) During the beginning of my Senior year of HS I was getting a lot of looks from NAIA and Div II/III schools. My relatively small frame and weak arm more than anything 5'8" 145 kept me from any DI schools, but I managed to hit .438 and steal a lot of bases through half of the season and impress a few folks. Then the injury. I shredded my rotator cuff and was out for the rest of the year. The looks from colleges stopped cold. I also played soccer and ended up going to school to play soccer and put the glove down for several years. When I was 27 I decided to go hit some baseballs in a local cage and was hitting 2 or 3 nights a week for long periods of time. I kind of considered it a stress reliever and a form of working out. Once you have seen the same pitches at the same speed for several months you begin to just rip balls wherever you want. I was playing games like hit the ball back into the machine etc. basically becoming Rod Carew of the local cage. One night there was a gentleman in his late 40's early 50's who was standing behind a teenage kid working with him in the cage next to mine. I was just minding my business and then I realized he was standing behind me watching. I finished my rips and came out for a water break and he introduced himself and handed me his business card that said he was a scout for the Phillies and I sure did have a nice swing and did I play anywhere locally. I laughed and said I am 28 (I had been hitting for about 5 months regularly) and he just said, oh, I thought you were much younger, like a high school kid. We talked baseball for a little bit and parted ways. So to fast forward the same thing with a slightly different version happened again about a month later but this time it was the Midwest Supervisor Scout for the Baltimore Orioles, to which I told the previous story to and kind of laughed. Unfortunately a guy that age can't really develop any more, particularly fill out physically. I was still 5'8 and about 155 lbs. with a piece of crap arm. So a couple years later I started playing in an 18 and up Adult semi-pro league and having a blast. I went to a league meeting and a guy comes into the bar that we were meeting at and starts chatting with us, He asked where I played ball. So I gave him my history and talked about the American Legion team, etc. He said, "I was at that game!" and I remember all you guys. He was a scout for the Red Sox and said his son got one of the autographed balls we signed after the game for all the kids. I said, you know, I never even got a ball for myself from that team. and we went on a talked some more. Well, he shows up to one of my games the next week and after the game hands me the ball his son had received 15 years earlier, and said his son was grown and out of the house and thought I might enjoy the ball. I almost teared up when I had it in my hand. Needless to say, I proudly display the ball on my desk at work and relive a lot of memories. I almost 40 now and still play in a semi-pro league knocking the ball around with my Louisville Slugger C243 trying to be like my boyhood idol Rod Carew. In my desk drawer sits 3 business cards from Major League Scouts, 2 of them just bring joy to me from time to time appreciating that someone liked my swing and the other (the old Red Sox Scout) just to remind me of an interesting story about a ball that sat in a kids closet for 15 years that I now have in my possession.
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#34

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
(02-21-2014, 09:56 PM)Phillies_Joe Wrote: Awesome, thanks for sharing and the link...good stuff man! This is right up my ally.....I'm thinking your dad possibly played with Schmidt, Boone and some others. ?
Schmidt was a bit after and ahead of my father but he played with him in spring training along with Boone and the others from the era. I have several team signed balls from teams he was on. One of my fathers team in the minors also won the league so he wears a phillies ring he got from the organization. When he retired they gave him his bats bolted to a plaque which I have hanging in my basement with his years written on it. Funny story.... They also gave him an option of new golf clubs or stocks to pick from... Regrettably he took the clubs... The stocks would have been worth quite a bit today.

Forgot to add this….Before I played in frontier league I caught in the bullpen for the Trenton Thunder for about a month. When I graduated from grad school I got a message on my answering machine from my cousin who is the regional director of scouting for the Athletics. They were looking for a bullpen catcher for the season for the Oakland athletics and offered me the job. I had to decline because I had just accepted a position where I am now partner within the company. Later I went to my then bosses and they said I could have delayed my start date….wish I talked to them first….I would have been warming up the A's staff all year...
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#35

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
Ellis2211.....great story....

lilgman....would have been cool being a bullpen catcher. It may seem a little odd at times (or alot odd depending on your view), but our love for the sport and hidden dreams and fantasy's for those who only went so far, these stories bring a smile to our face and take us back to our youth and the friends and great times we had. Thanks for sharing!
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#36

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
(02-21-2014, 10:05 AM)SGC300ier Wrote: I did try fishing, but in my first tournament, I just yelled and all the bass jumped into my boat. They said that's illegal and kicked me off tour.

LOL
That's a lot more effective than dynamite fishing! Smile
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#37

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
(02-22-2014, 10:47 PM)DrMitchJ Wrote: LOL
That's a lot more effective than dynamite fishing! Smile
But not as kuch fun....KABOOM haha
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#38

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
got recruited for div. 1 school, chose other sport
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#39

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
Great stories guys. Thanks for sharing.
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#40

RE: How close did you come to playing MLB?
(02-19-2014, 12:14 PM)soey10 Wrote: No never pitched against him, that would have made for a great story. I did play on the same team in high school as ex dodger Delwyn Young and also pitched against Jason Kubel in high school. I played against Evan Longoria in junior college and my Junior college coach for 2 years was ex-major leaguer Jeffrey Leonard (super cool guy)
Jeff Leonard..the "hack" man then the "pac man" ...running the bases..very funny for me, as a fan, but pissed off the other team a lot..used to put down a "wing" around the bases when he jacked one...then the drug trial....dark time for him and 10 others..cocaine was the issue..resolved off the field..but cost him $$$....lots of kids and grandkids and works hard at getting kids into the game..I think his best year was with SF Giants..but then who am I to say..I am a little biased..
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