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Story Archives: Welcome to the Big Leagues, Jarrett
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|Welcome to the Big Leagues, Jarrett|
Welcome to the Big Show, Jarrett Hoffpauir.
It seems like only yesterday (OK, quite a few yesterdays) that you were running along the Vidalia sideline carrying a football as big as you as a Viking ballboy.
Then again, you took your job as ballboy a lot more serious than some of the folks on the field.
A few years later, you were carrying the football on the field in a much different way.
Jarrett broke the career passing record of brother Josh by throwing for 2,814 yards, while rushing for 286 more.
Josh, currently the assistant coach at Pearl River Community College after stints in the Minor Leagues, passed for 2,636 yards upon his graduation in 1996.
Josh both had a much better offensive line than Jarrett, who spent a lot of time running for his life and picking himself up after being slammed to the ground while attempting to pass.
But he showed his toughness by getting back up and getting back under center, fading back to pass and at times fading under a fierce rush on a number of occasions.
But it was baseball that was Jarrett's sport. Josh, who led Vidalia to a state baseball championship in 1996, was telling everyone to watch out for little brother.
He batted .519 as a junior and .646 as a senior, while also going 9-1 on the mound with a 1.27 earned run average. He had a .910 fielding percentage at shortstop and an on base percentage of .721.
And then it was on to Southern Mississippi.
Hoffpauir played at USM from 2002-04 and earned All-American honors in 2004 by USA Today, NCBWA, Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Magazine.
In 2002 he was tabbed as a Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball. In 2004, Hoffpauir was taken in the sixth round by the Cardinals after leading the Golden Eagles with a .405 average, the last Southern Miss player to hit over .400 in a season to go along with 27 doubles, two triples and 11 home runs. He recorded 109 hits and 92 RBI in 2004, both of which still stand as single season records at Southern Miss. Even more remarkable was he only struck out eight times in 269 at bats in all of the 2004 season, which led the NCAA.
And eventually led to trips to Davenport, Iowa, Palm Beach, Fla., Springfield, Mo. and Memphis. And now St. Louis.
The new kid on the block has gotten off to a great start, delivering a game-winning single in his first official at-bat on Friday and stroking a double off the wall at the Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati on Sunday.
"It's a dream," Hoffpauir said. "It's a dream for a lot of people. This is something I am not taking for granted. I'm taking it all in every second I'm here. It's something I've worked hard for every day of my life."
So welcome to the big leagues, Jarrett. Apparently you have made yourself at home.
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