The 5-foot, 8-inch Oberdank took the advice, The Times wrote, and he started to hit.
"I told him to use his assets," Irvine coach Mike Gerakos told The Times in March 1988. "He has a small strike zone, and he needs to take advantage of it and stop helping pitchers by chasing pitches outside the strike zone."
Oberdank took that new hitting approach from Irvine to the pros. His pro career lasted four seasons. He made high-A, but never made it higher.
Oberdank's professional career began in 1988, taken by the Angels in the 24th round of the draft out of Irvine.
At Irvine, Oberdank hit a two-run home run in a March 1987. By mid-March 1988, Oberdank was hitting .424 and had hits in 30 of 33 games, according to The Times.
"I am finally using my abilities properly, rather than trying to be a home run hitter," Oberdank explained to The Times about his success. "Now I try to drive the ball in the alleys, and use all the field rather than trying for power."
With the Angels, Oberdank started at short-season Bend. He went 3 for 4 in a June game. He knocked in a run on a single in a July game. He hit .246 over 71 games.
He moved to single-A Quad City in 1989. He hit .198 over 93 games. In 1990, it was high-A Palm Springs and a .236 average.
Oberdank's final season came in 1991. He played between Quad City and Palm Springs. He hit .202 between them, ending his career.
- Los Angeles Times, March 17, 1988: Oberdank Adjusts His Game Down to Size
- Los Angeles Times, March 19, 1988: Defense, Speed Give Cal the Lead
Players/Coaches Featured: 2,028
Made the Majors: 903-44.5%
Never Made Majors:1,125-55.5%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 385
10+ Seasons in the Minors:220