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All-star work ethic is keeping Todd Greene in major leagues

Greene: Two Decades in MLB

Posted: June 30, 2013 - 12:05am  |  Updated: June 30, 2013 - 1:41am

Georgia Regents University-Augusta recently announced that 96 of its student athletes were named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for the 2013 spring semester. To earn AD Honor Roll status, student athletes must maintain a 3.0 grade point average. GRU-Augusta, formerly Augusta State University, fields eight women’s and six men’s athletic teams. Among the student-athletes honored were a dozen from Columbia County high schools. Congrats to the following athletes for their solid work in the classroom.

Name Sport High School

Carlye Pankey Cheerleading Grovetown

Stephanie Cipollone Track/Cross Country Augusta Christian

Jaiden Brandt Track/Cross Country Augusta Christian

Cade Hardin Track & Field Lakeside

Austin Hendricks Track & Field Lakeside

Micah Herriman Track & Field Augusta Christian

Laura Brown Softball Evans

Gabi Medina Softball Grovetown

Jeff Rice Baseball Evans

Hunter Boose Baseball Greenbrier

Stephanie Bennett Golf Greenbrier

Cody Shafer Golf Greenbrier

Greene: Two Decades in MLB

 

That headline makes me feel very old. Evans baseball legend Todd Greene has now been involved in major league baseball for 20 years. It doesn’t seem possible. It seems like yesterday we were playing swimming pool waffle ball as eighth-graders at Columbia Middle School, but it is indeed a fact. Greene is a career baseball man.

Back in the late 1980s a skinny, but powerful, Greene led Evans to the school’s first two state titles. The team was 59-1 with a pair of state titles and two top-five national rankings during his final two prep campaigns.

In 1989, Greene blasted a school record 17 homers (the old mark was only seven, which he had tied the previous year), and paced the Knights to a 30-0 mark. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 26th round, but chose to play for Georgia Southern. Looking back, it was the best decision he ever made.

At GSU Greene was a four-time all-American. He led the Eagles to a College World Series appearance in 1990 and finished his career No. 3 all-time in career home runs with 88. He also still holds school records for hits, home runs, RBI, total bases and slugging percentage.

He is also one of only two players to have a jersey number retired by the school. In 1993 he was drafted for a third time. This time, the California Angels selected Greene in the 12th round.

While in their farm system Greene was incredible, even hitting 40 home runs in 1995. He played parts of 12 seasons, despite battling several injuries along the way.

He finally called it a career at the beginning of the 2007 season, after another injury to his throwing shoulder.

During his playing days, Greene had plenty of special moments, but none may have matched Game Three of the 2001 World Series. Greene, a player with the New York Yankees, caught the ceremonial first pitch thrown out by President George W. Bush. It came on the heels of the attacks on the World Trade Center.

Along the way Greene gained a solid reputation throughout baseball for his work ethic and knowledge of the game. It was an easy decision to pursue a career in baseball after he retired as a player.

He worked as a quality assurance coach with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in 2009 and as a professional scout with the Seattle Mariners in 2010 before landing a job with the Arizona Diamondbacks as a professional scout in November 2010.

He was to provide the club with in-depth scouting reports on major league players throughout 2011. And wouldn’t you know it … The D-Backs won the NL West crown.

In January of last year he was given a promotion and now serves as a professional scout, but is also special assistant to Arizona General Manager Kevin Towers.

Greene also spent the summer of 2012 as an instructor for USA Baseball’s 17U National Team Development Program. Other instructors included former Atlanta Braves Pitcher Paul Byrd and two-time MLB All-Star Bob Watson, who now serves as Major League Baseball’s vice president of rules and on-field operations.

Congrats to Greene on reaching the 20-year anniversary in the sport he loves.

There have been more talented players, more accomplished coaches and Greene is not headed to Cooperstown anytime soon, but I can assure you that no player worked any harder.

No coach studied and prepared more, and no one has given any more to the sport than Todd Greene.

Greene married his high school sweetheart, Vanessa, and they live in Alpharetta, Ga., with their four children.

Greene’s oldest daughter, Aryn, is a rising senior at Mount Pisgah High School and is a 5-star tennis recruit.

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