Though San Francisco Giant Mark DeRosa is back in California preparing for tonight’s Game 1 of the World Series with the — albeit as a member of the disabled list — he spent last Saturday purveying a much different championship showdown: Penn’s annual intersquad Red and Blue World Series.
DeRosa, a Penn alumnus, starred as the Quakers shortstop in the mid 90’s and was also quarterback of the football team.
Before heading to Citizens Bank Park to watch his Giants defeat the hometown Phillies last Saturday, DeRosa stopped by his old stomping grounds to spend the day with the current Penn baseball team.
“It’s big for me,” DeRosa told Penn Athletics. “It’s an opportunity to come back here. You don’t get a chance to do it often since we travel so much. Any opportunity to come back here brings back a lot of memories.”
The 13-year MLB veteran gave a talk to the players after the scrimmage, then fielded questions about his transition from the Ivy League to the big leagues, as well as inquiries regarding the day to day life of a professional athlete.
Penn first baseman Spencer Branigan — a Ross, Calif., native and avid Giants fan — walked away from the experience with a smile on his face.
“It was awesome,” Branigan said. “You don’t usually see Major League alums coming to watch the games today. It was really inspiring.”
DeRosa joins Philadelphia native Doug Glanville as the only former Quaker baseball players to make it to the professional level in recent memory.
“The thing I like to do is make it look real,” DeRosa said. “I did all the things these guys do. I ate at the same places that they eat at. [I tried] to kind of reiterate that to them and to let them know to enjoy their time, to come together as a team and to play to win.”
During his visit to Penn, DeRosa also stressed the importance of putting a lot of work in during the offseason.
With the strength training and basic fundamentals ironed out in the fall, there will be less fine tuning to do come opening day next spring.
“He was saying how in the fall you have to focus on the little things,” Branigan told Penn Ahtletics, “and that’s what we did all fall this year. [We’re] just working hard in the weight room, and you can see that all those steps paid off for him.”
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