Are Loaded with Pierce Superstars
do four of the newest additions to Minor League Baseball have
in common? They all come from Pierce Colleges Athletics
a 67 right-handed pitcher, was drafted by the
Minnesota Twins. (Pictured at top right.) Shortstop David
Fonseca (pictured at bottom right) will be playing for the
Milwaukee Brewers and outfielder Dan Heller for the Baltimore
Orioles. And just before the Major League Baseball draft,
right-handed pitcher Travis Turek signed with the Cleveland
has always had a history of very good ballplayers coming out
of here, said Bob Lyons, former athletic director. But
this is an exceptional year.
gave much of the credit to Bob Lofrano, who stepped into the
position of athletic director recently.
Lofrano has done a great job in attracting players and then
developing their talents.
Dan Heller never even played baseball in high school. It was
during his time at Pierce that Lofrano urged him to pursue
his dream after recognizing his talent.
took it seriously this time around and not only will he be
playing professionally this summer, but he was also named
as the Western State Conference player of the year,
shows you the opportunity the community college offers people
who want to succeed regardless of their past, be it in athletics
or academic endeavors, he added.
they have. Barry Zito, who played with Pierce in 1998, was
drafted by the Oakland Athletics in 1999. After the 2006 season,
Zito signed a $126 million contract with the San Francisco
Giants, the largest contact ever for a pitcher at the time
"Coco" Crisp, now a center fielder for the Boston
Red Sox, played at Pierce in 1999. His Red Sox teammate Bryan
Corey was a Brahma in 1993.
Diamondbacks pitcher Doug Slaten and Baltimore Orioles relief
pitcher Kurt Birkins played with the Pierce team in 2000 and
you imagine? said Lofrano. Were just a junior
college at the west end of the valley and five guys in the
Major Leagues last year were from Pierce.
Pierce players from last years team went on to continue
their education. Pitcher Ryan Platt received a scholarship
to attend the University of California at Riverside, and infielder
Michael Notaro received a scholarship to Oral Roberts University
a coach you hope to contribute to their success by the way
you conduct practice, said Lofrano.
try to teach them what youve learned about the game
of baseball both on and off the field. How do you take the
ups and downs of baseball? How do you handle failure? Its
not just about teaching them how to throw the ball correctly.