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Borchard Decides to Pass on Orioles

July 19, 1997|STEVE HENSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

LA MIRADA — All it took was one week of throwing passes for Joe Borchard to pass on professional baseball.

All summer, Borchard, a 6-foot-4 switch-hitting slugger and bullet-throwing quarterback from Camarillo High, has waffled on whether to attend Stanford or sign with the Baltimore Orioles, who drafted him in the 20th round in June.

Part of Borchard, the part that carried a 3.9 grade-point average and carried Camarillo to a Southern Section football championship, wanted Stanford.

Part of Borchard, the part that enjoys playing nine innings in the summer sun, longed for minor league baseball and a major league signing bonus.

He might have signed with the Orioles had they offered enough to buy out his scholarship. But negotiations dragged on, and Borchard reported to practice for the California team for tonight's Shrine game at Cal State Fullerton.

Guess what? He fell in love with football all over again.

"I got in here with the elite guys and realized how much I missed football," he said. "I wanted to play baseball but that didn't work out. This has put my mind back in football. It reminds me of things I did during the season and how much fun it is."

Borchard will split the game with Greg Cicero of Servite High, who like Borchard is a tall, drop-back pocket passer.

"Joe has more mobility, but they are very much alike," said Ed Buller, coach of the California team. "He throws the out on a rope and is a big guy. That arm strength is nice to have."

The Shrine game is a good tuneup for Borchard, who reports to Stanford on Aug. 11. He plans to play baseball for the Cardinal.

"I could always change my mind again, but time is running out," he said. "My girlfriend is going to San Jose State, so we'll be close. I'd say right now, I'm going to Stanford."

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