The next in line
Living in a small city like Alpena can often make an athlete feel like a big fish in a small pond.
Try telling that to Andy Rohn.
The 1983 Alpena High alumnus was not only a big deal in local sports as a second baseman and shortstop, but he moved onto college and professional baseball at the same positions with great success.
His baseball prowess has earned him a spot in the 2012 class of the Alpena Sports Hall of Fame. He’ll be inducted on May 4 along with Dick Behning, John Geddert and Mike Kollien at the APlex.
“It’s an absolute honor to be inducted, with my brother and my dad being inducted in the past. I try to stay humble about it because I remember playing on some great teams. The individual honors are nice and all, but it’s those memories of playing with great teams that stay with me,” Rohn said.
Rohn’s father Bob was part of the 1990 Hall of Fame class and his brother Dan was part of the 1995 class.
Baseball success came at a young age for Rohn. He first received a taste of excellence as a part of the 1977 Huron Shore All-Star Little League team that won the state championship.
Rohn was also a member of the 1979 Babe Ruth team that won a state title and was part of the 1982 Babe Ruth squad that won the senior team world series in 1982.
Rohn was a big success in baseball, but he also enjoyed playing football, earning three letters between the two sports at Alpena.
After graduating, he moved on to play baseball for Central Michigan University and became a star. He earned four letters and was named to the Mid-American Conference first team two times, during a stretch where the Chippewas won the MAC championship four times.
Rohn earned an MVP award from his team in 1986 and was named a 3rd team All-American in 1986.
The big time came knocking for Rohn when he was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 27th round of the 1987 amateur draft.
Rohn was an important player with the Everett Giants, San Francisco’s Class A team. In 1987 he finished with 34 hits, six doubles and scored 25 runs while batting .233.
Rohn’s biggest success for the Giants came in the field. He had 132 defensive chances and finished with 47 put-outs and 82 assists. He only committed three errors and had an impressive .977 fielding percentage.
After his first season with the Giants, Rohn was injured during the following spring training. He remained on the team, but was unable to play and left at the end of the 1988 season.
Rohn came back to Alpena and helped coach the Alpena baseball team with Mike Cadarette in 1989 and then served as an assistant coach at Eastern Michigan in 1990-91.
“What I remember most about my time in Alpena was the level of competition. I was fortunate to grow up when I did, as there were so many great players on our team and on our opponents teams. Incredible athletes that really challenged me and helped shape us all into great ball players,” Rohn said.
Rohn is looking forward to attending the induction banquet.
“It’ll be a lot of fun going and reminiscing with everybody about the good old days,” he said.
Eric Benac can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 358-5690. Follow Eric on Twitter @EricBenac.