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Summer Check Up Series: Mike DeVeaux

Former Blue Devil has new team, new opportunity

    Mike DeVeaux isn’t quite ready to get “a real job” yet. Who could blame him?
    At 23 years-old, DeVeaux is still doing something he loves — playing baseball in his home state, hanging on to the dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player.
    “I finished school, got the degree — but I’m not ready to get a real job yet,” said DeVeaux. “My minor league career was too short lived so I can’t give it up just yet.”
    After graduating from Statesboro High in 2002 and Georgia College and State University in 2005, DeVeaux was drafted in the 33rd round of the 2006 MLB Draft by the Philadelphia Phillies. Things didn’t work out with the Phils, so DeVeaux found his was to the Independent League and the Florence (Ky.) Freedom.
    “You get so tired of going all over the country and playing in all these different places (with Florence),” DeVeaux explained. “I got a call from coach (Phil Plantier) because he was interested in finding another local guy. He said he would work out a trade, and little by little I fell in love with the idea.”
    The idea was to join a brand new Independent League team in a brand new Independent League league, playing in front of family and friends in the state where his baseball career began.
    The trade, after initially being denied, went through, and DeVeaux was on his way back to  middle Georgia to join the Macon Music in the inuagural season of the South Coast League.
    The South Coast League features six new teams, including the Music, the South Georgia Peanuts (Albany) and the Aiken (S.C.) Foxhounds. DeVeaux said playing in a region of familiarity has been great.
    “I have a ton of friends in the area and they always come to games,” he said. “I’m in a comfort level playing around here. It’s nice to play at home in front of some familiar faces.”
    The 2005 Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in college, DeVeaux has belted six home runs and driven in 20 RBIs with an average of .329 in 21 games while playing third and shortstop for Macon.
    DeVeaux went on to explain the face of Independent baseball is changing as well, giving him and his teammates extra hopes of signing another Major League contract. The Independents are now consistently scouted by MLB clubs and DeVeaux said most of his teammates have all been in Class A and Double AA baseball before coming to the Music.
    Kelly Hooks (Swainsboro/Brewton-Parker College), Lafyette Brown (Savannah State University) and Damianz Moss (Dublin, Ga.) have also joined the Music, which play at Luther Williams Field in Macon.
    Chad Bishop can be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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