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BASEBALL

Rocklin baseball player gets call from the Dodgers

Success through family and community support
By: Andrew Hazard Placer Herald Sports Correspondent
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Another Rocklin-area athlete is living their dream and goal. A 2009 Rocklin High School graduate, Pat Stover was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 40th round (1,226 overall) of the 2012 Major League Baseball Draft. Stover said he was driving to lunch with his girlfriend near the Santa Clara University campus when he received the exciting news. ?I was surprised to hear I got picked because no one had called me,? said Stover. Stover added he was really excited because he has been playing baseball since he was five. This was a long time coming for him. He said one of his favorite baseball memories was from when he was 12. On a Saturday he had two games for two different teams. He said that after the first game he had about 30 minutes to eat, drive over and change for his next game. ?My dad and I stopped at Taco Bell and I ate three tacos in the car and got dressed at the same time,? Stover said, who was still putting on his belt and jersey when he ran onto the field. ?[M]y team was coming up to bat. As soon as I got to the dugout I learned I was on deck. Without thinking, I grabbed a bat and helmet and got ready to hit.? Stover hit the first pitch for a home run to center field. He hit two more home runs in the game. Stover said after that his dad always joked that he needed three tacos in order to have a good game. Stover will finish up rookie ball in Ogden, Utah in mid-September and then train for the season that starts in March 2013. Stover was originally drafted by the Oakland Athletics (17th round/513 overall) in the 2009 MLB First Year Player Draft but he elected to attend Santa Clara instead. ?Going to college really prepared me for what it is like to be on your own and handle multiple things at once,? he said. Stover went on to say playing travel ball as a kid helped prepared him for his upcoming adventure. He said he played travel ball all over the state while playing for three different teams when 11 years old. Stover said when he was growing up the New York Yankees was his favorite baseball team. He said he loved Derek Jeter as a kid. He is really excited about the opportunity he has been given. ?I am thrilled to be a part of an organization with such a rich history,? Stover said. ?I am blessed to have an organization like the Dodgers who believes in me and is willing to give me a shot to make my dream come true.? Stover said his role models are his parents, his older brother, Matt, and his head coach at Rocklin, Roc Murray. He said his parents have always been there for him no matter what and his older brother is someone he?s always looked up to and could confide in about anything. ?He is a very successful guy and I am blessed to have a brother there for me like he is,? Stover said. Stover said coach Murray has been both a mentor and a friend. He said Murray not only helped him to grow up when he was in high school but was always there for him in difficult times. ?I don't think I would have found success in baseball without the lessons he taught me and that I still carry with me,? said Stover. Stover said he appreciates all the support he has received during this process. ?I just want to thank my family and friends in the Rocklin community and hope to make them proud,? Stover said.