Patrick Kivlehan was a dual sport star at St. Joseph’s of Montvale High School. He starred on the football field as well as the baseball diamond. When it came time to decide on one sport, Kivlehan took a chance and accepted his only Division 1 offer to play football. He chose to play under then head coach Greg Schiano and join the Rutgers football program.
In four years on the gridiron, Kivlehan appeared in 43 games as a backup defensive back, making 40 tackles and one interception. He had his moments on the football field, but, little did he know, his time to shine would come once his football days were over.
Kivlehan decided to give baseball a try once again. He walked on to the Rutgers baseball team and quickly became the starting third baseman. Not only was he a starter, Kivlehan became the star of the team. The third baseman led Rutgers in batting (.392), home runs (14), RBI’s (50), slugging percentage (.693), on-base percentage (.480), and steals (24).
He was the first player to ever win the Big East Triple Crown and was named the Big East Conference Player of the Year.
As the season went on, it became more obvious that Kivlehan was on the radar of some Major League Baseball teams, and none more so than the Mariners.
“As each week would go on and on, more scouts would show up and you start hearing things. I knew Seattle was interested in me. They were probably the team I had the most contact with throughout the season, but a couple teams were interested so I didn’t really know what was going to happen.” Kivlehan told Double G Sports.
Seattle indeed did select Patrick Kivlehan with the 131st overall pick in the MLB Draft this week. Kivlehan, who said he grew up a Mets fan and tried to model his game after David Wright, watched the live streaming draft with his family and girlfriend. You can imagine the excitement when they heard his name. That was soon followed up by a phone call from the Mariners scout.
“I talked to the area scout yesterday and he told me he’d give me a call after the draft was completed and he’d let me know all the details,” said Kivlehan. ”He just told me to relax, enjoy the day and he would give me a call tonight or tomorrow.”
You could make a movie or write a book about this type of journey to professional baseball. If the entire journey sounds amazing to you, you are not alone. Kivlehan himself never imagined the incredible ride he has gone through.
Kivlehan said, ”When I decided to play baseball again I never thought I’d be going in the 4th round, get drafted and all this. I just wanted to get back in the game because I missed it and I just wanted to play and have fun. I never saw any of this coming.”
“I’m just excited to keep playing and thankful to the Mariners organization for taking a chance on me. Just thankful for all the coaches I’ve had through the years to help me get to where I am. I’m just thankful for everybody and everything.”
Seattle Mariners’ scouting director, Tom McNamara made it clear that they are excited to have selected the Rutgers star.
“The first thing I saw with Kivlehan, was that he is a physical, athletic kid.” said McNamara. “He got better and better as the season went on. Physical, strong, athletic and he likes to play and he’s got character. A lot of intangibles there.”
While it may be an unusual trip, Kivlehan’s dream of being a professional athlete is one step closer to reality. It’s an amazing story, a great story. One that all local sports fans should be proud of.