Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ron Witmeyer, What Happens - 165

Originally published Feb. 28, 2014
Ron Witmeyer arrived in the majors in August 1991. His thoughts quickly turned to the next step, he told author George Rose years later.

"I don't think about how much I'm going to play," Witmeyer told Rose. "While I'm here, I'm going to bust my butt and see what happens."

Witmeyer spoke to Rose for his 2003 book "One Hit Wonders." His stay with the Athletics produced just a single hit. He never got back.

Witmeyer's career began in 1988, taken by the Athletics in the seventh round of the draft out of Stanford University. He's also credited by his formal name, Ronald Witmeyer.

Witmeyer helped Stanford to the 1988 College World Series title. A Witmeyer home run against Fullerton sent Stanford two wins from the title. The title was the school's second-straight.

"No one thought we would come back for a second title," Witmeyer told reporters afterward. "So this one's probably more satisfying than the first one. Everyone said we couldn't do it,"

With the Athletics, Witmeyer didn't join the team until 1989. He played his first season at single-A Modesto. He hit .204 in 134 games.

He then played much of 1990 back at Modesto, getting some time at AA Huntsville and AAA Tacoma. Between them, his average came in at .255.

He played 1991 back at Tacoma. It was in August that he got that call to Oakland. What happened was he got into 11 games, 19 total plate appearances. He got that single hit, a fourth-inning single Sept. 7 off Mark Leiter.

Witmeyer returned to Tacoma for the next two seasons, hitting .236 and .254. He didn't return to Oakland. His last recorded season was 1994 at independent Amarillo.

Toward the end of his career, Whitmeyer got married. His wife, Marianne Witmeyer Werdel, was a tennis player, making the semifinals of the Australian Open in 1995.

His own career over, Witmeyer soon went into coaching. He coached back at Stanford for 1996. From 1997 to 2000, he coached at City College of San Francisco. In June 2000, he was named to the staff at Cal.

He has since gone into youth instruction, co-owning Frozen Ropes in San Diego. 

"Our gratification comes from watching all the participants get really excited about being at the facility," Witmeyer told 92127 Magazine in 2010. "And it is really special to see the kids improving in all aspects of the game."

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