Is Baseball Next for Bollinger?

WIBA Radio's Evan Cohen was told by Brooks Bollinger in an exclusive interview for Badger Nation that baseball is not out of the picture for the senior quarterback. Cohen is writing a piece on Bollinger's career for the January edition of Badger Nation Magazine.

With just one game remaining in his college football career, baseball might not be as far-fetched as one might think for quarterback Brooks Bollinger. If there are no football possibilities on the table, Bollinger might return to his second sport.

Bollinger told WIBA Radio's Evan Cohen, in an interview for a story in January's print edition of Badger Nation, he has been in contact with the Philadelphia Phillies.

After drafting Bollinger in the 50th round of the 2000 Major League Baseball Draft, the scouts that were interested in the former high school baseball star are now with Philadelphia. Bollinger's rights are no longer controlled by the Dodgers organization.

"The Dodgers have all new scouting (personnel) in the front office and all the people that drafted me were gone," Bollinger said. "(Wednesday night) when I was checking my messages, the scout that was with the Dodgers is now with the Phillies and he left a few messages for me, so I guess that can of worms might get re-opened."

When Bollinger left for Wisconsin nearly five years ago, he expected to leave his glove at home for good. He has been invited by summer league teams to play during the offseason, but he has shunned those invites to focus on football.

The Dodgers drafting Bollinger came as a complete surprise to the Grand Forks native. It came as a result of a meeting between Bollinger and legendary Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda at the 1999 Rose Bowl, set up by Coach Barry Alvarez.

"I was just in awe of meeting him, and he said, `I heard you're a ballplayer,' and I said `Yes, I played shortstop in high school.' I just thought it was cool to meet him," Bollinger said. "When I got back home to North Dakota in the spring, my dad said a scout from the Dodgers had been calling, and I was blown away."

That meeting led to Bollinger's first workout on a baseball diamond since high school.

"All of a sudden he said he wanted to work me out, and I hadn't picked up a baseball glove or bat in years," Bollinger said. "He came and worked me out, and I was heading back to school. I called home and my sister said, `Some guy just called and said you were drafted by the Dodgers.'

Following the Alamo Bowl, Bollinger is going to put all of his energy into getting picked up by an NFL team, via the NFL Draft or free agency.

If he is unsuccessful in that pursuit, he might give the Phillies a call and see where it leads him.

"I don't know how realistic it is, but if something ever happened and the situation ever presented itself I wouldn't be afraid to give it a shot," Bollinger said.

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