But he did get to be among just six junior college players to get the invite and Magnusson knew that meant something, The Press Democrat wrote.
"I couldn't complain," Magnusson told The Press Democrat. "I got to play as much as anyone. I hit the ball really well, so I have no regrets."
Magnusson went on from the Olympic tryouts almost immediately to play at a whole different level, in the pros. His pro career lasted seven seasons and he briefly made AAA. He has since gone on to teach the game to others as an instructor.
Magnusson's pro career began that year in 1988, taken by the Dodgers in the 39th round of the previous year's draft out of Santa Rosa. He played his high school ball at Sonoma High in Sonoma.
At Sonoma, Magnusson's coach Bob McAllister described Magnusson to The Press Democrat in May 1985 as one of the area's top prospects.
"For his size, he is very quick," McAllister told The Press Democrat. "He has an exceptionally quick bat. He's one of the few people who's going to get the opportunity to play after high school."
After heading to Santa Rosa and trying out for the Olympics, Magnusson landed with the Dodgers at rookie Great Falls. He hit .320 in 51 games there, with seven home runs.
He then moved to single-A Vero Beach in 1989, where he hit .243 in 120 games. He arrived at high-A Bakersfield in 1990. He led off a ninth-inning rally in a May game where he went 4 for 5 overall. He did so by hitting a home run.
"We finally got our heads up and started hitting in the ninth," Magnusson told The Reno Gazette-Journal after that win. "We all felt like we needed to win this game."
Magnusson hit .311 that year in Bakersfield, with 23 home runs. He made AA San Antonio in 1991, hitting .265 in 110 games, hitting 11 home runs.
Magnusson is then recorded as playing over the next three seasons, but only briefly, as injuries ended his regular playing career. The rest of the time he served as a coach.
He saw one game at AAA Albuquerque in 1992, then coached at short-season Yakima. He saw 13 games at San Antonio while he coached there in 1993 and two final games at San Antonio in 1994, also as he coached, to end his career.
He went on to scout for the Dodgers. In 2020, Magnusson is listed as a coach with the Bowie Baseball Academy in Texas.
- Santa Rosa Press Democrat, May 7, 1985: Magnusson helps the Dragons 'do it now'
- Santa Rosa Press Democrat, June 17, 1988: Magnusson is released from Olympic team
- Reno Gazette-Journal, May 18, 1990: Bakersfield pounds Soper, Silver Sox 10-8
Made the Majors:1,214-35.0%
Never Made Majors:2,255-65.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:503
10+ Seasons in the Minors:298