COCHRAN, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A sign outside Stuckey Field lists all the Middle Georgia College (now Middle Georgia State University) players who’ve made it to the pros.
Right now, one name from the 2006 team is getting all the attention.
Josh Reddick, a 29-year-old right fielder for the Los Angeles Dodgers, is in the top five of the all-time Middle Georgia greats, according to two men who’ve seen them all. Jack Johnson and Billy Godfrey, both Cochran natives, have followed the school’s teams for more than 30 years.
“Of course we’ve had other players that were special too,” Godfrey said. “But he stood out as a ball player.”
“He probably had as good a read on the ball off the bat as any right fielder or left fielder,” Johnson said. “He played both while he was here.”
Reddick was only in Cochran for the 2006 season, but it was clear then he had “it.”
“You talk about athletic ability and what he could do, that guy made contact at the plate,” former MGC coach Craig Young said. “He was all out. He was full speed. Everything he did was full speed.”
He’s been on the move ever since.
“He started out with Boston I believe,” Godfrey said. “And then he went to Oakland, and then they traded him to the Dodgers.”
Now the kid from Savannah who Young says was “quiet” and “internally driven” while at Middle Georgia, is getting a chance most players only dream about. Two months after being traded to LA., Reddick and the Dodgers are just two wins away from playing in the World Series.
“When you know somebody and they’re in that position to be able to do that, it makes you feel good,” Young said.
Reddick has six hits this postseason for the Dodgers, who beat Chicago Tuesday to take a 2-1 lead in the National League Championship Series.
Game 4 is Wednesday at 8 p.m. in Los Angeles.