(Posted June 7, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- It was about 5:30 p.m. on Friday evening and Juniata College first baseman Dan Kauffman (Conestoga, Pa./Penn Manor) was about to have dinner with a friend at his friend's uncle's house near Harrisburg, Pa., when he put the ringer on his cell phone on 'silent' before sitting down to eat.

About half an hour later, when he checked his cell phone after dinner, he saw there were nearly two dozen missed calls, better than half a dozen voice mails, and countless text messages all relaying the same message: Dan Kauffman was now a professional baseball player.

Kauffman, the 2008 Landmark Conference Player of the Year, was selected in the 46th round (1,392nd overall) of Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"I looked at my phone right when we were done eating, and my heart started racing when I saw all those missed calls and messages," said Kauffman. "I knew it had to mean I was drafted."

Kauffman, one of 44 new prospects for the Diamondbacks organization, said he has been told that the Diamondbacks are trying to put together a mini-camp for their new players early next week in Tucson, Ariz. If so, Kauffman said he can't wait for the opportunity to play.

"I now have the same chance as everybody else," said Kauffman.

Kauffman was one of 19 NCAA Division III players selected in this year's MLB First-Year Player Draft, and one of only 29 Pennsylvania natives to be drafted.
He finished his collegiate career as Juniata's all-time home runs leader with 43, and holds the top two single-season home run marks with 15 in 2006 and 14 this season.

Kauffman posted a .415 batting average with 39 hits, 43 runs and 43 RBI in 94 at bats during his senior campaign, but he was walked 55 times this season including 23 intentional passes. Kauffman finished the season with a .979 slugging percentage and a .645 on base percentage, and did not commit a single error in 291 total chances over 35 games at first base.

"I thought about how long I've worked for this and how this has been my dream ever since I was a little kid," said Kauffman. "I'm just so thankful I'm getting a shot to do this and fulfill a lifelong dream."


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.