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Random Athlete Of The Day- Phil Nevin

Phil Nevin was a professional baseball player from 1995 through 2006. He played for the Houston Astros, Detroit Tigers, Anaheim Angels, San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs, and Minnesota Twins. Nevin is from Fullerton, California and attended El Dorado High School, which also produced former ball players Bret Boone and Brett Tomko.

The Los Angeles Dodgers drafted Nevin in the third round of the 1989 MLB draft, but he declined and instead enrolled at Cal State Fullerton University. As a Titan he starred in both football and baseball. He was named an All-American placekicker in his freshman year and was named the College Player of the Year in baseball his junior year by several publishings. Nevin’s .391 average, 20 home runs and 71 RBIs also earned him the Big West Conference’s Triple Crown award.

The Houston Astros selected Nevin ninth overall in the 1992 MLB draft. Scout Hal Newhouser urged the team to select Derek Jeter but was ignored. Nevin struggled mightily to begin his career. The fast majority of his success finally came in his fifth season when he was traded from Anaheim to San Diego in 1999. In his first year with the Padres, Nevin hit 24 home runs and drove in 85 runs. He posted career highs in those categories two years later when he totaled 41 dingers and 126 RBIs. After his glory year with the Padres Nevin struggled to stay healthy and bounced around a bit. The 2001 All-Star finally called it quits in 2006 after hitting .190 for the Minnesota Twins. For his career he totaled a .270 batting average with 208 home runs and 743 RBI in 1,217 games.

Phil Nevin barreling via kuer.org

Nevin didn’t stray far from the game of baseball after retiring. He joined the Padres’ pre-game radio show and was an ESPN analyst for the regionals of the College World Series. In addition to those jobs Nevin has managed several independent and minor league teams. He is currently the manager of the Toledo Mud Hens, the Triple-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers.

One has to wonder what Nevin’s career would have been like had he accepted the Dodger’s offer out of high school. Clearly he found success on the West Coast, and he may not have bounced around as much. He was also nearly traded to the Cincinnati Reds for Ken Griffey Jr. in 2002, but a no-trade clause in his deal allowed him to decline and stay a Padre. Life could have been different for both the talented, oft-injured sluggers.

-Bayliss

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