Stephen Head moves up to AA

Stephen Head finally got the call he had been hoping for, and honestly for the most part expecting. The problem was, he just didn't know when it was going to come.

That call came today.

After basically two years in A baseball with the Cleveland Indians' Kinston (N.C.) team, Head is currently enroute to Akron, Ohio, to join the Indians' AA team.

For one of the most noteworthy players in the history of Ole Miss baseball and the only three-time All-American the program has ever produced, it was certainly welcomed news.

"Nothing's guaranteed, but I hoped and felt it would happen at some point," said Head as he made his way by car to Akron through the Appalachians from the Carolinas. "Today they (Akron) had an off day, and sometimes things like this happen on off days. I knew I might get a call at some point, and today was that day."

Head, 23, had talked to the Indians farm system player director Ross Atkins recently, and it appeared his shot at a higher level of baseball might be coming.

"He said they felt I was ready," Head said. "They want to see how I do up there. I'll probably be there at the start of next season anyway, so this is a chance for me to get up there earlier. They want me up there for the last month or so of this season. Some things cleared up so I could get there (on that roster). They'd seen me long enough down there (in A ball)."

Head, 6-foot-3, 220 pounds, has been playing first base in Kinston. But he's also been playing right field. He likes the fact that if someone else is at one of those positions, he can play the other and be involved in more games.

"I don't know what they have in mind for me. I'll see when I get up there," said Head, batting .251 with 13 home runs, 29 doubles, and 61 RBI this season in 102 games. "It's not too bad in right field. It's just going to help me being able to play a couple of positions. I'll get in more games that way."

Head, who doesn't pitch in the pros as he did in college, says you never know when your number will be called or when the time is right. But when it happens, it's special.

"It's a combination of a lot of things," said Head, who has seen a lot of players go up and down during his two years of professional baseball so far. "You just have to take everything in stride. Even though you never know when, it is still exciting when it happens."

Head says leaving his Kinston team behind is a much easier adjustment because he will rejoin some old teammates.

"A lot of the guys (in Akron) are the same guys I played with in '05 and last year," he said. " So I'm more accustomed to a lot of them anyway, and I have some friends on the team."

Which comes in handy when you are headed to an unknown destination and trying to have nothing on your mind except the immediate future in your chosen profession.

"I've got a couple of buddies up there," he said. "I'm going to throw down my air mattress in their apartment and get ready to play baseball."

Just what you'd expect from Stephen Head, whose baseball career took on a whole new meaning and direction just a few hours ago.

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