Tanner Makes Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game
July 10, 2008
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - After a sour start to his summer, USC Upstate baseball sophomore Jimmy Tanner (Fayetteville, Ga./Starr's Mill) got a burst of sweetness earlier this week when he was selected to the Atlantic Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game, which will be played Monday at Jack Kaiser Stadium on the campus of St. John's University at 7 p.m.
Tanner, who was involved in a serious car accident in early June, leads his team, the Lehigh Valley Catz and is seventh in the league with a .320 average. After missing eight games with an injury, he has come back to help the Catz to a 16-8 overall record, which has the Catz at the top of the Wolff Division standings. Tanner has scored seven runs, five doubles and three RBIs as well. Behind the dish, he has been his usual self, tossing out 46 percent of would-be basestealers this summer.
"Coach (Adrian Yaguez) was real cautious with me playing after the accident," Tanner said. "My collarbone bothered me, but coach eased me into it. I started out as a DH for a game and then I would catch a game and then take a game off. Then I finally got into a rhythm at the plate and was out there having fun."
The car accident occurred in Pennsylvania, where Tanner was enjoying an off-day with his teammates. A car crossed into the lane in which Tanner and his teammates were driving and the cars collided head-on, demolishing the left side of the car in which Tanner was riding. Tanner, riding in the backseat on the driver's side, was lucky that he walked away with just bruises on his face and collarbone and small scratches on his body. His teammates, also were lucky, with the driver suffering a shattered ankle and the other passenger suffering much the same injuries as Tanner.
"It was just one of those days, we were hanging out and then the next thing you know, the car in the other lane was in front of us and we just saw headlights," Tanner said. "It just happened so fast and nobody had any control over it. It's just a nightmare."
Tanner is one of two catchers on the Wolff Division All-Stars along with Alabama's Vin Di Fazio. The ACBL is one of eight summer leagues sanctioned by the NCAA and partially funded by Major League Baseball. The league features teams from Eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Metro New York City. Players in the All-Star Game come from several Division I programs, from St. Joseph's, Wagner, UT San Antonio, Missouri and St, John's.
"I've had a lot of fun here," Tanner said. "Before the accident, I had a chance to get a good workout routine going. It's not like the Northwoods League (where Tanner played in the summer of 2007), where we might be on the road for a week. We don't have to stay overnight and it gives us a chance to do other things. I went to the Red Sox-Yankees game on Sunday and that was a lot of fun."
Upstate, which finished 25-29 overall and 17-16 in the Atlantic Sun, finished over .500 in conference play for the first time since then-USC Spartanburg went 12-6 in the NAIA District Six in 1990. It finished tied for fifth in the conference and would have qualified for the six-team Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament field, but it is still in the first of its four years in the provisionary process in the transition to Division I, making it ineligible for postseason play.