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I played basketball for two years and baseball for four years at Moravian College. Growing up, like most kids, I dreamt of someday being a professional baseball player. In college, I won some awards (MAC and BML Pitcher of the Year, Scholar Athlete) and even had a one day tryout with the Pirates.
Eventually, however, common sense won out and I realized there was no way I was talented enough to pursue that dream. I looked at the odds. Only 5.6% of high school baseball players go on to play in college let alone the pros. And only 0.5% of high school seniors are eventually drafted by the major leagues. Bottom line – the chance of a high school player making the big leagues is 1 in 6,600 or 0.015 %. Lottery odds are better. At least I had my education to fall back on.
This brings me to David Bednar. David grew up in the Pittsburgh area and went to Mars High School, where he played baseball for his father. Yes, he was a Martian. He was a good high school pitcher, but there were only three colleges interested in him. None of them were baseball powerhouses.
Lafayette was one of them. He matriculated and played baseball there for three years and then was drafted as the 1044th player in the 35th round of the MLB draft. You really can’t get much lower. Only 8 players have EVER made the Major Leagues who were drafted in the 35th round.
David was three years into a highly valued and quality education. There appeared to be only one right decision here – be realistic and stay in school and get the degree. David Bednar decided otherwise.
He is now pitching for the San Diego Padres in the Major Leagues. I will let him tell you his story. The interview starts at the 2:54 mark:
From Mars to Lafayette to the Major Leagues is certainly a road less traveled.
It makes me wonder if I… Get over it!!!
ABOVE THE EARS (SOME MUSINGS)
- I asked this question last week – “What do the Eagles do now? After Sunday’s game with the Packers, it seemed obvious that Jalen Hurts outplayed Carson Wentz. Hurts inserted instant energy into the offense; threw a touchdown pass; and made quicker decisions to run the ball. Do they bench Wentz?” They did bench Wentz; Hurts did many of the same things he did the week before – inserted energy; ran for over 100 yards; threw a TD pass; and helped the Eagles win the game. Now the Eagles have a $128 million problem or they have two potentially very good QBs.
- There certainly some irony in Monday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and the Baltimore Ravens. Twenty-five years ago, Cleveland’s owner, Art Modell, packed up the Browns and moved them to Baltimore. It has taken the “new” Browns 25 years to be competitive again. They are this year. Yet they still lost to the Ravens on Monday night on a last- second field goal. Poor Karma.
- Is it me or does it seem like there are plenty of teams that could win the Super Bowl? Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Green Bay, New Orleans, and the Rams are the frontrunners, but all six of them have appeared vulnerable at times. There certainly is no lock on these six being the only possibilities either.
- Junior Jahan Dotson, of Nazareth High School and Penn State, had another big weekend as he caught eight passes for 108 yards and returned a punt for 81 yards and a touchdown on Saturday against Michigan State. There is talk that Jahan could leave for the NFL after this season. That would just add another NFL team to watch each week – the Eagles, the Giants with Saquon Barkley, and wherever Jahan would go. It’s a nice problem to have – but don’t ask my wife.
- You may have noticed that my “Guesses” have gone down percentage-wise these last few weeks. The NFL stats show why – underdogs are covering the point spread 57% of the time. That’s the highest percentage since 1980. Bettors, who often favor the favorite, are suffering because of it.
Gary’s Guesses: NFL Picks – (LAST WEEK – 9-8; OVERALL- 131-74-1 – 64%)