MORGANTOWN — John Radosevich knows what Jedd Gyorko is feeling today.
Forty-five years earlier, he had dreamed the dreams the West Virginia University baseball star is dreaming now as the draft draws near. He had all the same hopes, the same desires, the same gifts that label you a major league prospect.
He also understands that as wonderful as it is to dream, sometimes dreams don’t come true, and his story may be one for Gyorko to put in the back of his mind, a reminder of how fate sometimes can intervene in the sweetest of dreams and that what seems like the end of the world can really be just the beginning.
Let us first establish who John Radosevich is. He was in the news this week, having been selected as a member of the WVU Athletic Hall of Fame for induction next September.
It was as deserving a selection as there could have been, for he well may be the best baseball pitcher the school ever turned out.
A left-hander who got it to the plate in the mid-90s and who had the ability to control it, he had a magnificent career from 1963 to 1965 under Steve Harrick, winning 25 games while losing four. The winning percentage of .825 is the second highest in school history, the 25 victories fourth, and he is the only player to have struck out more than 300 batters during his career.
In 1964 he set the school record with 123 strikeouts and followed that up with 120 the next season, reaching heights in 1964 never seen before when he struck out 22 batters against Waynesburg.
It was good enough for this coal miner’s son from Ronco, Pa., to become the first WVU player ever drafted, picked in the fifth round of the baseball draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers.