Pump’s Post

Four-year Senior Derek Hutton is the only player who participated in FAU Baseball’s 2002 appearance in the Super Regional Tournament. I pulled Hutton, who was just named Team Captain, out of the dugout after they crushed the FAU alumni team in an 11-1 route and just before he ran out to shake hands in what was a good-natured picnic style game. Usually, my main concern is digging up some behind-the-scenes info that make great players great. But in the spirit of the alumni/player game, I decided to also concentrate on what great players do for fun while playing.

Hutton, a second baseman, was just named to the Pre-season All-Conference team and earned First Team honors at the close of last year’s season. Our interview was occasionally interrupted by parents and team supporters yelling congratulatory and/or sarcastic remarks as they filed out of the stadium headed to the Wackadoo’s after-party. Hutton is an energetic guy who seems to really cherish his opportunity to play baseball here at FAU.

Pump: What’s the best dugout practical joke you’ve been a part of?Hutton: Well, in summer ball we did the ‘hot foot’, where you stick something to the back of someone’s cleat and then light it on fire. It has to be pretty long so his shoe doesn’t catch fire, too.Pump: Who were you most impressed with on the alumni team today?Hutton (with a laugh, then sarcastically): Shane O’Connor. He was making a lot of noise at second base.(And a lot of errors, though he usually made up for them before the close of the inning.)Pump: Do you chew tobaccy or dip?Hutton: No, I don’t.Pump: Ever been beaned by a pitch and charged the mound?Hutton: No, I’ve taken a lot of hits. But I don’t think they were ever on purpose. Pump: As new team captain, how is your role as leader shaping up?Hutton: Well, I talk to the guys about how great it is to play in Super Regionals. In that kind of setting. It’s the best thing ever to play in front of that many people. And it’s the most fun I’ve ever had playing baseball.Pump: What was your shining moment at the tournament?Hutton: Scoring the winning run.Pump: Talk about what it takes to turn a double play?Hutton: It’s all about hands and feet. You have to have quick feet and quick hands to get rid of the ball and give a good feed.Pump: At second base you might have to talk to the pitcher, when do you approach the mound and what do you talk about?Hutton: Well, if he’s throwing a lot of pitches out of the strike zone I might go in. I talk about everything but the game. I try to make him not think of what’s going on. Hopefully get a laugh.Pump: Do you slide feet first or head first?Hutton: Feet. All the time. That’s how I was taught when I was little. And I feel it’s the most effective. Also, I’ve seen too many guys get hurt going in head-first.Pump: Some pro players you like?Hutton: Scott Roland of the Cardinals and Juan Pierre of the Marlins. They both play hard no matter what the score. All 162 games they play one hundred percent.Pump: What was your greatest baseball moment outside FAU?Hutton: I guess winning Player of the Year in Palm Beach County when I played at Gardens High School as a shortstop.Pump: Any favorite practice drills?Hutton: Batting and taking ground balls.

There’s going to be plenty homers for FAU fans to come out and support the team. Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in February and March provide an opportunity to get out to FAU’s Baseball Stadium and make some noise. Hutton promises that the team’s going to do everything they can to get to this year’s College World Series.