Hode Hangs Up Baseball Career

FAYETTEVILLE -- Scott Hode has hung up his baseball cleats and now may be dusting off his football ones.

The former Razorbacks shortstop spent the past five weeks with the Boise (Idaho) Hawks, a Class A (short season) Chicago Cubs affiliate, after being drafted in the 24th round of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on June 8.

But after some soul searching, Hode decided late last week to end his baseball career.

"I was just ready to move on with my life," Hode said. "I was having a great time and loving (playing in the minors), but there was some other things I was wanting to do and I just kind of acted on it right away."

Hode has returned to Fayetteville and plans to finish his degree in kiniesiology (he only needs 14 hours) and enroll in aviation school to pursue a life-long dream of becoming a pilot.

"This is all positive for me, nothing negative," Hode said. "I was kind of surprised when I was drafted and I knew I had to pursue that opportunity and give it a shot. But at that level, your heart has to be in it 120 percent.

"And my heart was in another place."

Another possibility for Hode is to try to punt this fall for the Razorbacks' football team. He said he still has one year of eligibility and actually was recruited more for football than baseball out of Crystal Lake (Ill.) High School.

"I'm not really for sure if I will try to kick again or not," Hode said. "I haven't talked to any of the (football) coaches or anything like that, but I'm friends with some of the kickers on the team. And it is something I've always kind of wanted to pursue, so we'll see what happens with that.

"Right now, I'm just taking it one day at a time."

In 206 starts over four seasons for the Hogs, Hode hit .282 with 219 hits, 53 doubles, 13 home runs and 125 RBIs in 776 at-bats.

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