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Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Mike Mulvaney, A Lot Easier - 2330

The Orediggers didn't hit the ball hard in that double header opener in 2005, head coach Mike Mulvaney told The Portales News-Tribune.

What happened was, the balls the Colorado School of Mines players did hit in that 9-0 victory over Eastern New Mexico, found their way through.

"When you can play a little loose," Mulvaney told The News-Tribune, "baseball is just a lot easier to play."

By that point, Mulvaney had been with the game since turning pro for nearly two decades, both as a player and as a high school and college coach. More recently, Mulvaney has stayed in the game, teaching it to younger players as an instructor.

Mulvaney's professional career began in 1988, taken by the Reds in the 44th round of the draft, out of the University of Wyoming.

Mulvaney's professional playing career was actually brief, just three seasons.

He played his first year at rookie Billings, hitting .302 in 51 games. He then moved to single-A Greensboro for 1989, getting 14 games at AA Chattanooga.

Between Greensboro and Chattanooga, Mulvaney hit .257, with 19 home runs. At Greensboro, Mulvaney also won South Atlantic League MVP honors.

In April 1989. Mulvaney helped Greensboro to a win over Spartanburg with a double, hit after a slow start on the year, according to The Spartanburg Herald-Journal.

"I was due to break out," Mulvaney told The Herald-Journal afterward. "It's tough going against guys that come from underneath as both (Greg) McCarthy and (Toby) Borland do. It's hard to make a good swing when you're back on your toes."

For 1990, what turned out to be Mulvaney's final season as a player, Mulvaney played in 101 games with single-A Cedar Rapids, hitting .259, with eight home runs, ending his professional career.

Mulvaney, though, soon returned home to Colorado and his hometown of Arvada, Colo., serving as head coach there for four years. He then went on to the School of Mines, serving as head coach there for 13 years.

In 2012, Mulvaney was serving as an instructor with the Diamond Club Training Facility in Colorado.

With the School of Mines in 2006, Mulvaney saw his team lose a close 7-6 game in the ninth inning. Afterward, Mulvaney told The Clovis News Journal his team played hard that game and series back against Eastern New Mexico.

"We're young," Mulvaney told The News Journal. "We threw guys out there that, hopefully, they'll get it. If they keep playing hard, the baseball gods will catch up to you."
1990 Minor League Tally
Players/Coaches Featured: 912
Made the Majors: 613 - 67.2%
Never Made Majors: 299-32.8%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 274
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 163

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