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New Jersey Baseball Feature Story


Jesus, Matty, and Felipe Alou are the only brothers to bat consecutively for the same team in the same game

Keeping it in the Family

Growing up in a family of athletes brings a variety of expectations and pressures with which most of us are unfamiliar. Not so for Brock Podgurski. His father, Walt Podgurski, was a 1st Team All-State player in high school, a 1st Team All-American in college, and was drafted by the Minnesota Twins. Brock’s younger brother, Ben, played on the 12 year-old Cal Ripken State championship team, and both younger sisters play softball on their local recreation league teams.

Keeping baseball in the family has its precedent. The brothers Alou and Niekro, and the father-son tandem of Ken Griffey and Ken Griffey, Jr., come readily to mind.


Ken Griffey, Sr. and Jr. are the only father and son to hit home runs in the same game, playing for the same team
 
Joe and Phil Niekro hold the all-time MLB record for wins by brothers who were pitchers: 216 for Joe, 314 for Phil

When it comes to baseball and life, fifteen year-old Brock Podgurski has two idols: Derek Jeter and Walt Podgurski. As Brock, himself a shortstop, puts it, “Jeter hits constantly, he doesn’t try to hit homers, he’s a solid infielder, and he’s a team player.”


Yankee Captain, Derek Jeter

Walt Podgurski, Brock’s Dad, puts everything into perspective. Besides having the knowledge and background in the game to be an effective coach, Walt uses his businessman’s talent and intellect to guide Brock’s performance on the field and off.


Brock Podgurski, All-Star Form

Dad’s influence and Derek Jeter’s role modeling pay off, because Brock has all the tools required of a premier ball player, and he has straight As in school. A freshman at Steinert High School in 2009, Brock’s batting average hovered around a staggering .700. In is own words, he already has “ten years’ experience playing baseball.” In addition to playing on the 2006 New Jersey State champion Cal Ripken 12 year-old team, he also played on the 2008 State champion 14 year-old Babe Ruth League team that “lost only one game all year.”


Brock and Dad:
Keeping it in the Family

As Coach Dad proudly recounts it, “Both of those teams lost only one and two games respectively all season, each time in the semi-finals.” In particular, the ’06 Cal Ripken Little Lads team won 28 games in a row and committed only 3 fielding errors all year. Adding to these impressive statistics, Brock himself hit 28 home runs, counting his regular season and All-Star campaigns. Not to be outdone, the only loss sustained by the ’08 Babe Ruth League team came in the semi-final round of the regional tournament, played at Penn State University.

Coach Walt continues that “Brock is “one of the most disciplined hitters you’ll ever see.” A five-tool player to begin with, young Brock tries to be the smartest player out there. “As a ball player,” Brock adds, “you always have to be thinking and pay extra attention. That’s the sixth tool.”

The thinking man’s game and a strong work ethic define Brock the ball player, because it defines success on the field. That’s how he learned from his Dad, that’s his family tradition, and that’s what NJB Magazine knows will make him successful in baseball and in life.

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New Jersey Baseball & New Jersey Baseball Online are your original source for stories about the human interest side of baseball. Coverage ranges from travel team baseball and showcase tournaments to girls’ softball and women’s fast pitch to recruits and prospects; performance enhancing drugs and substances, such as steroids and human growth hormone (HGH); health & nutrition; sportsmanship; the best batting cages & baseball training academies, such as Frozen Ropes, The Hit Doctor, Zoned, Extra Innings, Batters Box, & Dave Gallagher Baseball Academy, women in baseball, youth baseball baseball history,, sports officiating and umpiring, field maintenance, men’s amateur baseball, and many others. NJB is also your first and best source for baseball rules and interpretations through its unique Ask The Ump feature.

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