Hello everybody my name is Patrick Kivlehan, Chris from Viper Bats approached me about doing a blog about my story and the life of a professional baseball player. I look forward to sharing my stories and hearing back from you guys throughout the season. For my first blog I will just tell you guys my story and my unique path to professional baseball.
I was born and raised in West Nyack, New York. It is about 20 minutes north of New York City. I was a die hard Mets fan growing up and a big New York sports fan in general. My two favorite sports growing up were baseball and football. I played Little League baseball and Pop Warner football all the way up until it was time to go to high school. I chose to go to a private all boys catholic high school called, St. Joseph Regional High School in New Jersey instead of my town high school in New York. This decision was made so I could hopefully get more exposure to colleges than I coulde at my town high school. I live right on the boarder of New York and New Jersey so it was only a 15 minute drive back and forth.
In High School i played football and baseball all four years and received All County and All State honors for both sports. Heading into my senior year I knew the biggest question that needed to be answered was whether I was going to play baseball or football in college. I spent my summers going to football camps instead of showcases for baseball so my name was not really out there for baseball scouts to find me. I had a good senior football season and once the season was over took all my visits to colleges and on the night before the National Signing Day for football I received a full scholarship offer from Rutgers University to play defensive back. I had received some Divison 1AA scholarships but Rutgers was my only Division 1A scholarship. The next morning I signed my name on the line to play football and defensive back at Rutgers. I knew this meant I would have to give up baseball but the full scholarship was impossible to pass up. I played my senior season in baseball and put up really good numbers and had to hear it from my coaches all season that I should play baseball in college instead of football. I knew they were right but there was nothing I could do at that point, I was already committed for football.
I attended Rutgers where i played football from 2008-2012. Lets just say my career did not go the way I had hoped it would. I was mostly a back up with a few starts here and there and a special teams player. After my senior season was complete I wanted to get back into baseball. I approached the Rutgers baseball coach over the winter and asked him if I could try out for the team. I made the team and with an injury occuring on the first day of practice I was now the starting 3rd baseman. I ended up putting up good numbers this past college season and was named the Big East Player of the Year and was named a 3rd Team All American. I was the first person in Big East history to win the league Triple Crown. All of a sudden there was talk of me getting drafted in the upcoming draft.
I was drafted in the 2012 draft by the Seattle Mariners in the 4th round and was sent to Everett, Washington to play for the Everett AquaSox (Mariners short season A team). This is where I was introduced to Chris and the rest of the Viper Bats staff. They gave me some models to try out and I loved them and ordered some for the rest of the season. Our team was eliminated in the 1st round of playoffs and I was named the Northwest League MVP.
It has been a crazy year to say the least but I am excited to be playing baseball again and cannot wait for spring training to come in March. Right now I am just working out and hitting. Mostly working on my hitting because being out of the game for as long as I was there are tons of things I need to work on and get better at. I am looking forward to updating you guys on my off season as the weeks go on and sharing some more stories.
If any of you have any questions about baseball, my story, or even football (if we have any football guys reading) feel free to ask. I love talking sports especially baseball so don’t be afraid to ask!