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January 3, 2013

Cooperstown graduate making it on the diamond

Phil Pohl shares his ups and downs along the way

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“I started doing something about the things I could control (working hard and keeping a good attitude),” Pohl said. “The positive attitude became contagious.”

The catcher/designated hitter’s game improved and his efforts were noticed. The 22-year-old was drafted again, in the 28th round, in June by the Oakland Athletics.

When he was notified, Pohl said he was willing to drive wherever to sign the contract no matter what it was worth because it was his dream coming true.

“I’ll fly myself out there if I need to,” he said. “Just give me a pen and show me the line.”

Centennial Field, located on the campus of the University of Vermont, is in the record books as the site where Pohl played his first professional baseball games; for the Lake Monsters managed by Rick Magnante.

It was not all about happy trails for Pohl even once he was drafted. Once signe , he was dispatched to Arizona. Then he was sent to Vermont to play short season Single A ball. Pohl said he was an older athlete among younger players and was told he was “pretty safe” there and would probably be sticking around for a while with a good chance of moving up. However, 11 days later he said he was told he would be sent back to Arizona. He finished out the summer there and started behind the plate in the last 25 games. 

“Hopefully the one-on-one coaching and more playing time pays off and will help me slingshot up the ladder,” Pohl said.  

His message to the students sitting in the same seats he once did: “If you want something bad enough you can go out and get it, you just have to work harder than your opponent.”

He added, “You are in the driver’s seat in the car of life.”

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