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A teachable moment for Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers

March 10, 2014|By Kevin Baxter
  • Adrian Gonzalez had dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer until pro baseball got in the way.
Adrian Gonzalez had dreams of becoming a mechanical engineer until pro… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)

PHOENIX -- It may be hard to believe after four All-Star games, 235 home runs and nearly 1,500 big-league hits, but baseball used to be Adrian Gonzalez's fall-back plan.

"In my mind I was going to be a mechanical engineer. And baseball was going to be a reason how I got my education," Gonzalez said Monday. "Obviously things changed and I was to go a different direction in regards to my school.

"But in my mind I was really committed to going to college and getting a degree."

But education remains important to Gonzalez, whose charitable foundation has funded more than 50 scholarships for low- and middle-income families. Gonzalez has teamed up with Target and People magazine in a program that will recognize 30 of the nation's best teachers at this summer's All-Star game, it was announced Monday.

Fans can go online at to nominate their favorite educators, who will have the chance to represent a big-league team in July during All-Star festivities in Minnesota.

Although Gonzalez isn't likely to do any nominating he said his favorite teacher growing up was Dave Gonzalez, who was also his baseball coach at Eastlake High in Chula Vista. In addition to his duties as coach and athletic director, Dave Gonzalez also ran the school's learning center, where Adrian worked as a teacher's aide.

"He was not just a great teacher but he was also a great mentor for me while I was in high school and growing up," said Adrian Gonzalez, who favorite subject was math. "He had a lot of kids there that failed a few subjects. And he was in charge of getting them back on track.

"That was always good to see somebody there to not just tutor, but be a mentor for kids as well."

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