As a collegiate coach, there aren't too many things better than seeing one of your former stars make it to the big leagues.
And having two guys make it, well, that's even better.
Even better, that is, until you realize the inevitable -- they will square off against each other on opposing teams.
Doug Glanville and Mark DeRosa are those two guys. And Penn baseball headman Bob Seddon is that coach.
Seddon was at last Tuesday's game at Veterans Stadium between the Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies, an 11-inning contest that the Braves eventually took, 4-1.
"I'll probably be wearing something red and blue," Seddon said before the game to remain neutral.
There was no contest between Glanville and DeRosa, however, as the Braves shortstop did not compete that evening.
Playing instead was Rafael Furcal, the usual starter who DeRosa replaced for a seven-game stint earlier this month.
"Mark is back on the bench because Furcal is back, but he played very well in those seven games," Seddon said.
And despite DeRosa's absence from the starting lineup, Seddon was still a proud coach.
"It was great to see it -- two guys who played here in the '90s now in the big leagues," Seddon said. "It just shows you that it can happen. Several Ivy kids have made it. You don't have to play for Arizona State."
Of course, Seddon would still rather see both of these former collegiate stars get playing time.
"Mark belongs in the big leagues, and now it's just a matter of getting him out of Atlanta," Seddon said. "He needs to be seen so that he can be traded, that's my own feeling. But he can help the Braves now as a utility player."
Thinking about his former players gave Seddon the opportunity to take a break from following the stats of all of his current players in their respective leagues.
"Doug was an All-American and an All-Ivy player," Seddon recalled. "He was the total package. He was on a team that went to three straight regionals. So he was on a very good team and was surrounded by some very good players."
Glanville also had nothing but positive remarks about his collegiate coach.
"I think part of the reason I went to Penn was because of his recruiting skills," Glanville said of Seddon. "We clicked, so I came and visited and loved the campus."
The Phillies centerfielder was recruited by schools mainly as a pitcher, but he wanted to play outfield as well. Seddon gave him that chance.
"He gave me assurance that I'd have an opportunity to play outfielder," Glanville said. "He gave me a chance to play every day and he made sure we had a great schedule and played against a lot of good teams.
"From that I got an opportunity to play in the Cape Cod League, which really put me on the map. So a lot of things helped me in my career while I was at Penn."
After graduating with a degree in Systems Engineering with a concentration in Transportation Systems, Glanville -- a board member of the overseers of the Penn Engineering School -- realized the value of his academic years at Penn as well.
"Outside the three hours, it's a whole other world," said Glanville, who is involved with a number of charities. "You have to learn how to manage your time, and have other activities.
"I try to keep my options open so when baseball's over -- and you never know when it will be over -- you have something else to do."
After graduation, Glanville spent a few years in the farm system. He then spent two seasons with the Chicago Cubs before joining the Phillies in 1998.
In this, his fourth season with the Phillies, Glanville is batting .258 with 10 homeruns and has driven in 29 runs. His homerun total, not even halfway through the season, is one off of his single-season personal best.
There's no one particular thing I wanted to work on [during the offseason]," Glanville said. "I just wanted to keep my balance and maybe it's giving me a little more drive, but I don't know, maybe I'll end up with 10."
Glanville and the Phillies have hit a rough spot in June and seen the eight-game lead they had at the beginning of the month disappear. With a series sweep at the Vet in the last three days, the Braves have now taken a half-game lead over the Phillies.
But Glanville hasn't given up hope yet, and knows that there will be better times in the near future.
"We have a pretty young team, so hopefully that will mean better years in front of us," Glanville said. "I think this year has been an indication that we have the ability. Last year was very disappointing, and a lot of guys wanted to redeem themselves."
DeRosa and the Braves, however, are trying to prevent the Phils from realizing that hope.
And despite being on the bench again, Seddon notes that in the seven starts DeRosa had, the Penn alumnus showed a lot of growth since leaving Penn in 1995 after his junior year.
"Mark has obviously learned a lot in the pros," Seddon said. "They've taught him some things that have made his game more in line with their game."
Seddon is even more impressed with the fact that DeRosa has been able to hold his own with the Latin American players who dominate the middle infield in the majors.
"He's surrounded by Latin middle infielders, because American parents just don't get it," said Seddon, referring to the fact that some American players are holding out for seven-digit contracts while Latin players with a similar amount of talent will sign for much less. "Mark is surrounded by them and has made his way through it."
DeRosa's Braves and Glanville's Phillies appear to be the primary contenders in a tight race for the National League East division crown.
Seddon will have a hard time rooting for just one.Comments powered by Disqus
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