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Sunday, June 18, 2023

Dave Brust saw 3 pro seasons from tryout camp, later coached

Dave Brust 1990 Durham Bulls card, Brust seen up close

Dave Brust's path to the pros nearly didn't happen. Left undrafted, he had to go to a tryout camp to get signed and, even then, he almost didn't go, The Muncie Evening Press wrote in June 1989.

But, he ended up signing, the only attendee of the tryout to be offered a contract on the spot, The Evening Press wrote.

"After this camp, I was not going to try to pursue professional baseball," Brust told The Evening Press then. "This camp was going to make or break me."

From that camp, Brust went on to three seasons as a pro. He topped out at high-A. Years later, he returned to the game as a coach in college, a role he continues in in 2023.

Brust's career began in 1989, signed by the Braves as an undrafted free agent out of Ball State University in Indiana.

Brust started with the Braves in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .258 in 51 games. He then moved to high-A Durham for 1990. He hit .175 there in 86 games.

He returned to Durham for 1991 and switched positions from third to first to start the year. He'd suffered injuries and a slow start the previous year at Durham, The Durham Herald-Sun wrote

"It was definitely a struggle, a learning experience," Brust told The Herald-Sun of his 1990 campaign. "I learned a lot about the game - about hitting. I can't say it was a bad experience because of that. Statistics can't show what I learned about baseball that season."

Brust got into 94 games that year and hit .221, with 11 home runs. That season proved his last as a pro.

Brust then left the game for a decade and became a teacher. He ultimately received his Master's in educational administration in 2003 from Brockport State. Then, in 2004, he became a coach. 

Brust served as an assistant in the New York Collegiate Baseball League, with Genesse, then Rochester and Webster. Along the way, he served as an assistant at Monroe Community College from 2005 to 2012, then as an assistant at the University of Rochester.

He then became Monroe's head baseball coach, a position he continues to hold in 2023. In March 2023, one of Brust's hitters came back from an 0-7 stint to pick up three hits in a pair of big team wins, wrote.

"The previous doubleheader, he took it pretty hard," Brust told the site. "He faced really good arms and had some tough at-bats. I thought he bounced back like the ball club bounced back. I'm glad to see that."

Dave Brust 1990 Durham Bulls card, Brust seen up close

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,176
Made the Majors:1,376-33.0%
Never Made Majors:2,800-67.0%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:559
10+ Seasons in the Minors:343

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