Baseball America Expands College Coverage For 2019
Baseball America has beefed up its college coverage for the 2019 season with the hiring of Dave Serrano, the 2007 Coach of the Year, and Joe Healy joining the team. National writer Teddy Cahill continues to lead the college coverage.
On this week’s edition of the Baseball America college podcast, Healy and Serrano shared their stories of how they got into college baseball.
Serrano played at Cerritos (Calif.) JC and Cal State Fullerton before beginning his coaching career, which has included seven trips to the College World Series – two as a head coach and five as an assistant. After his playing career ended, he knew he wanted to stay involved in baseball.
“It was being a part of a team,” Serrano said. “My college career, the highlight was playing at Cal State Fullerton. But the truth of it was I was a walk-on at Cerritos JC for a head coach named Gordie Douglas and an assistant coach named George Horton. I tell people all the time, all joking aside, the only way they knew my name is because I was the name, they wrote down for the guy throwing batting practice every day. It took me two years to play there, I didn’t play until my redshirt sophomore year at a junior college.
“I’m proud of that because I persevered. In today’s day and age, a lot of kids transfer out. I stayed the course and it led me back into coaching. I started my coaching career at Cerritos JC for George Horton, it led me to Cal State Fullerton as an assistant, to the University of Tennessee as an assistant and so on as a head coach.
“I really believed when I got out of high school and started playing college I wanted to stay in the game. I knew I wasn’t a professional player. I had aspirations of being a professional player, but I was also realistic in my ability. So, I learned the game and I learned the game from some great coaches and I wanted to give back and teach the game and stay competitive. That’s what led me to being a mentor to kids like many coaches were to me over my career.”
Healy grew up in Houston in the 1990s and early 2000s, a time when college baseball was thriving in the region. With so much quality college baseball around him from Houston to Rice to Texas and everything in between, he was drawn to the game.
“It was just a really neat time in that part of the world to be following college baseball,” Healy said. “I’d always been a fan of major league baseball but there were these cool little quirks in college baseball that made me fall in love with it. Things like the midweek games that don’t really look like the weekend games and the fact that your series were all on the weekends and instead of five starters you needed three starters. Of course, as a kid, the offense appealed to me. As someone who’s 14-, 15-years old, that style of baseball tends to appeal to you more so than a pitchers’ duel.
“It’s a lot of time and place. Had I grown up in the upper Midwest, for example, I don’t know that I would be the college baseball fan – and now member of the college baseball media – like I am now. I’d like to think I’d always have gotten interested in it but I don’t know that I would have approached it in the way I have had I not been where I was in Houston Texas in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s.”
Cahill, Healy and Serrano also discussed their favorite memories of the 2018 season, storylines to watch in 2019 and more on this week’s edition of the Baseball America college podcast. They will continue their discussions throughout the 2019 season, as the Road to Omaha begins anew in February.
With Opening Day only a few weeks away, Serrano said he is excited to get the season underway.
“I’ve always been on the field, I’ve always been a fan, I’ve known all the storylines within our team, I’ve always been the fan of our team, but the thing that’s so exciting for me now is I’m going to be aware of many storylines around the country,” Serrano said. “That’s what’s exciting for me about being on with Baseball America and covering this great game of college baseball and the wonderful people that are involved in it from the coaches on down to the players.”