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Jerome Alviso Interview

Interview By Peter Dewar
Questions By Paul Gierhart

We would like to thank Jerome Alviso very much for taking the time out of his busy off season schedule to do this interview. This was done in exchange for the posting of his baseball camp on our site. We are happy to say that the camp was a success despite a few set backs.

1)  How much of your fathers baseball experience in the Philadelphia Phillies' system from 1967-69 help you in your baseball career so far? What kind of role does your family play in your baseball career?
 
Jerome: My father has a played a crucial role in my development both as a baseball player and as a person.  His experience as a professional helped him to guide me in the right direction and understand the commitment level necessary to play at that level.  My family is very important to my survival as a minor league baseball player.  My wife, Barbie, and I are apart for a significant amount of time throughout the baseball season and her support allows me to compete at my best each and every night.  My mother, Joan, has scarified tremendously to assist me in every way possible, between her and my dad("Jumbo") they put me through Junior College by working extra and making sacrifices.  I owe a lot of what I've accomplished to my parents, but I understand that I've become who I am because of their guidance and constant support.

2)  What is your earliest ! baseball memory and first
professional baseball game?  Any favorite players as a kid?
 
Jerome: My earliest baseball memories are those of my family traveling around the S.F. Bay area to watch my dad play on his weekend semi-pro baseball teams.  My father played for many different teams and we met and interacted with many interesting and diverse teammates.  My brother, Jason(29), and I would always tag along and have our own baseball games going on beyond the outfield fences.  My mom and sister, Jenet(33), would occasionally make it a family trip to the ballpark for a weekend doubleheader.  I have no true recollection of a "favorite "player.

3)  As a boy in Livermore, CA. what opportunities did you have to play organized baseball?

Jerome: I played in the normal little league setting, until I was 15 when a league outside the area contacted me to play for them( Castro Valley Babe Ruth).  The team I played for advanced to the Western Regionals and I began to realize that baseball could take me places that I'd only dreamed of.  My dad started a Senior Babe Ruth team in Livermore(16-18Yr. olds), and I continued to play on that team, and we continued to make it into tournaments throughout the state and western United States.

4)  Where did you play high school baseball at and what are your fondest memories?  What position did you mainly play in high school and what was you senior year like (stats)?
 
Jerome: I attended Granada High School, where I played both football and basketball along with baseball, but I did not excel at any single sport.  I actually sat on the bench for the 1st third of my junior year until and injury forced me into the lineup at 2nd base, but as bad as it sounds, I actually was the player that the DH hit for in the line-up- A pretty low point in my career, but at least I was in the line-up!!  During the final third of the season, I was inserted into the offensive part of the line-up and actually put up good enough numbers to make it as an Honorable Mention All-League player.  My senior year was very average, I did much better as a relief pitcher than that of an offensive player.  I played mostly shortstop, but made the All-League on the 1st team as a Utility player (a tag which I have not been able to get rid of??).

5)  How and where did you showcase your baseball
talent...
   a) while in high school?
   b) while in junior college?
 
Jerome: While playing at Canada J.C.(Redwood City, CA.), I enjoyed my first real success as a developing baseball player.  My Head Coach(Mike Garcia) taught me a lot about overcoming adversities and being a mentally tough player.  I became a "player" during my 2 years at Canada, and began to draw some mild interest both from colleges and the professional scouts.  Mind you I attended junior college because I wanted to prepare myself to go on to a university to attain a college degree and maybe walk-on at the school I chose to do this at.
 
  c) while in Div. I college?
 
Jerome: At Cal State Fullerton I once again faced adversity coming into a program which had just won a National Championship the year before I transferred in(1995).  My sophomore season at Canada had been such a success that I expected it to only g! et easier, unfortunately that isn't how it works.  I found myself competing to play at a position which I was not recruited to come in and play(2nd base).  I spent quite a few games on the bench watching the action, but once again I learned more small things to make me better and earned my spot back in the line-up.  My senior year went a little better, I was back at shortstop and felt as confident as ever.  Then I got hit by the injury bug, a sprained knee ligament.  This sidelined me for about 2 weeks, but it again put my focus back on what was important, the HARD WORK!  I finished my senior season by playing the best offense I ever could have dreamed of in the Big West Tournament( I think that I had a 5 hit game and a 6 hit game during the 6 games of the tournament- I was unconscious).
 
6)  In 1995, after you were voted a junior college All-American, what was your experience like being invited to the U.S. Olympic baseball trials?
Jerome: I really enjoyed the opportunity to try out for our country's Olympic team.  the competition at these events is tremendous and gave me a chance to meet a great deal of talented players from all across the nation, many of which I still have relationships with today.
 
7)  What was your college experience at Cal. State Fullerton like in comparison to pro ball?
 
Jerome: Cal State Fullerton produces many major and minor league players for a very good reason- the treat their baseball very seriously, as it is in pro ball.  The same can be said for many other college programs, but I have been able to point out numerous things that I was exposed to prior to signing a professional contract that high school kids or players from other colleges don't get the chance to learn at that level, because I chose to go to Cal State ! Fullerton.  I credit a lot of what I know about why the game is played the way it is to both of my great head coaches at Cal State Fullerton(1996-Augie Garrido & 1997-George Horton).
 
8)  What did it feel like before, during and after being selected in the 17th round of the 1997 June draft?
 
Jerome: I didn't know what to expect from the 1997 draft, I knew that I had a good year and that scouts had contacted me, but there was no certainty.  I remember having a post-season meeting with coach Horton and letting him know that I would not pursue baseball past college if I went undrafted.  Fortunately, I didn't have to make that decision and I was excited to finally see what the professional side of baseball was all about.  I was very happy for my parents especially my father after  I was notified by my scout(Abe Flores).  I just felt like "WE had finally done it!!"
 
9) I heard somewhere you pitched an inning for Salem, retiring the side. Tell us about that experience.
 
Jerome: I have actually pitched an inning each of the past two seasons for Salem.  I had an opportunity to pitch to a college teammate of mine the 1st year and i still let him know to the day that I got him out(even though he led the Southern League in RBI's this past season).  This past year's appearance was more interesting because I actually recorded my 1st strikeout, but the whole thing is just a fun way of putting a blowout game in the books without wasting an extra pitcher.

10) I know you have played several position in your minor league career.  What is your most favorite?  Also, tell us about your hitting streaks in the 2000 season.
 
Jerome: I actually enjoy the idea of going to the ballpark not knowing exactly what position I might play.  I am also a versatile offensive player so I have hit in every slot in the line-up except clean up.  I've played every position in a game except centerfield and catcher( although I've had to catch in the bullpen on numerous occasions because of injuries).  Hitting streaks are great, they give you a reason to focus on every at bat, and when you think about it, every day could be the start of a hitting streak- so you better get that hit you need.  It all starts with one...(Joe did)
11) Finally, Jerome, what is something you want people to know about you outside of baseball?
 
Jerome: The only interesting thing that I do is substitute teach during my off- season, and I find it very enjoyable to try and assist in the development our youth.  With kids anything is possible, you just have to make them believe it to be true.


 

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