We took the time to catchup with the former Madison Central star and All-SEC right fielder, Michael Rosamond.
After a stellar high school career, Michael opted to pursue a spot on The University of Mississippi baseball team in spite of an offer from the Houston Astros. Michael started for the Rebels the next three years as a right fielder and is ranked in the top 10 in home runs and triples. After the success of his JR. year, the Madison native earned a spot on the All-SEC team as well as being selected as a first round draft pick.
Thanks for sharing some of your time with us. First off, what are you doing these days?
I’m enjoying being a husband and a dad now. My wife Maggie and my two kids Preslie and Buck are the most special things in my life! The things I’ve accomplished athletically don’t hold a candle to that! I’m grateful for the opportunities I have had though. I have a lot of memories that will last a lifetime!
Some of those opportunities and memories began as a young kid. Growing up most kids dream of being a “Big Leaguer”, but when did you know this is something you wanted to seriously pursue and could become a reality?
Like you said, like most kids, I dreamed of being a big leaguer my whole life. When I signed with Ole Miss my goal was to play everyday as a freshman. That’s the main reason I chose to sign with them. I knew my chances to play there early like I did were better than other schools at that particular time. I always felt I had the tools to play at the highest level.
In the summer on 98, I played in Cape Cod. That league is the best wood bat league in the country and has been for a long long time. My dad also played there when he was in college. The pitching there is really unbelievable! There were at least 30 scouts at every game most of the time. Most of them were there to see the arms but it gave them the chance to see the position guys too. During that summer is really when all the Major League clubs started showing their interest in me and I realized my dream was closer to a reality than ever.
Some of our readers may not know this but you were coached in high school by one of Delta State’s greats, Mike Rosamond Sr., which happens to be your dad. How special was that?
Playing for my dad was very special! He and I have had a special relationship my whole life. I always wanted to be with him no matter what it was we were doing. Baseball is something I grew to love because of his passion for the game. He spent countless hours throwing BP to me at all times of the day when I was growing up all the way to the day I played my last game in ’06 with the Braves. I have had plenty of coaches throw BP to me over the years and he is by far the best I’ve ever seen! At times it was hard being the coaches son but it never really bothered me. I know it would have been different if I wasn’t good enough to play.
What were some of your most memorable moments playing high school baseball?
I have a lot of good memories from my High School days. Probably the most memorable was the summer team I played with for three years, the 96ers. Our senior year we had 14 Guys that signed D1 scholarships. It was a great group of guys that shared the same goals.
We won the national championship our senior year. We played about 70 games each summer. I know that had a big part in my development. When you play that many games against that kind of competition, it makes you a better player. My dad also coached that team every summer.
What was the recruiting process like? Your recruitment wasn’t only from colleges but also from the majors. You were actually drafted in the 41st round by the Astros which was an opportunity a small number of 18 year olds have.
When I was getting recruited during high school, it was a lot of fun. I had various coaches from a lot of schools send letters and most of them came to my house. It was a neat process that I will remember forever. When I got drafted after my senior year, I was really excited but shocked at the same time. Usually with a guy like me, a club takes a chance on a guy and hopes he goes to A junior college and develop a bit so they can sign him the following year before the draft. If I had gone to a JC, the Astros would have had the rights to me up until the draft started. Roy Oswalt was a draft and follow. I’d say it worked out for him!
Instead of signing or taking Roy’s route, you went D1 and played three seasons (1996-1999) at Ole Miss under Pat Harrison. Looking back, what were some of your most memorable moments as a Rebel and playing in the SEC?
Playing in the SEC was a blast. It’s no doubt the best conference in the nation. Getting to play that kind of competition every weekend in front of good crowds and play in nice ballparks was the best part. We had good teams all three years I was there but everybody else was was good too. We got overlooked a lot because of that. That league beats up on each other and it’s a difficult league for a program like we were at the time to compete.
In my opinion, it takes facilities like they have now in order to get the best recruits. The only way to do that is win like they have over the last 8-10 years. Coach Bianco and his staff have done a great job in helping Ole Miss baseball get back on the map. They are one of the top programs in the country now and I hope it continues.
After a banner Jr. season, in which you led the team in Homers (18) and set a NCAA record for triples (3 against UNO) in one game, the majors came calling for a second time. How was the process different this time around?
Getting the attention my junior year in college was a different story. Countless meetings with scouts, phone calls, and meetings with agents. I had to fill out paper work for all 30 teams. There wasn’t a day that I didn’t get a call from one of those guys. At first, I thought it was pretty cool but it became more of a distraction than anything. I would always let my roommates answer to tell them i wasn’t there. I never let it affect my work on the field though. I was lucky to have my mom and dad to keep me grounded and help me remain focused on playing for Ole Miss. As long as I kept working I felt like things would work out. It was an honer to be selected as high as I was! I had put a lot of hard work in my whole life to reach that point but I knew there was a lot of work to be done.
The holidays at the Rosamond house should be full of great stories. Some may not know but your brother–in-law is former Ole Miss pitcher Anthony Cupps and you’re cousins with former MSU Friday night starter, Jamie Gant. What kind of relationship do you have with those guys?
I have a good relationship with both Anthony and Jamie. Anthony and Jill live about a mile from us. He and I hunt all winter long. We don’t talk too much about baseball to be honest. We talk about what tree we are gonna hang our next loc on in. I was pulling for Jamie even when they played Ole Miss. He was a great athlete! He had some arm troubles that set him back a bit and that hurt his chances for a good career in pro ball. I’m still proud of what he accomplished though! Both of them know I would have taken them deep if I would have faced them.
Can you give me some of the best players you played with and against in High School, College and professionally?
As far as the best players I played with or against, I would be here forever trying to answer that question. I did name my son who is 2 now after the marlins catcher John Buck. He and I are good friends and I always told him I would name my son Buck if we had one. Most people think I did it because I love to hunt but it’s because of the friendship he and I have had over the years.
Growing up and to this day, you have had a special relationship with Coach Boo Ferris. Can you talk a little about that and what he means to you.
Boo Ferris has been somebody I’ve looked up to as long as I can remember. Pretty sure there isn’t another one like him! My mom just got a note in the mail from him last week. He has always kept up with guys that played for him and that amazes me still. I have a lot of respect for him just like my dad does and always will.
Looking back, what advice would you give an aspiring 15 year old who has dreams of playing professionally or even college.
I would tell a young kid to work as hard as he could and to always play hard. That’s the one thing my dad taught me that I will hang on to forever. He always told me to hustle even when things weren’t going good. That’s the one thing that you can control on the baseball field. I always took pride in playing hard. Another thing I would tell a kid, is that there is two parts to the game. When you aren’t swinging the bat well, beat them with your glove. If I wasn’t getting hits, I was gonna take them away when I was in the outfield. There were a lot of times I didn’t hit well but I never let it affect my defense.
Lastly, we like to ask our guest five random question. We call them our “Relative Five”.
If you wrote a book about yourself, what would be the title?
Not sure what the book would be called but I’m sure it would be about my time in baseball.
If you could have dinner with any three sports individuals (past or present), who would they be?
Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle, and Babe Ruth
What is your favorite TV show?
Anything on the outdoor channel!
Did you have a sports idol growing up? If so who was it?
I was a big fan of Will Clark.
What is your favorite movie or actor?
Top Gun is the best movie ever!
We want to thank Michael for taking the time to share some of his memories. He was one of my favorite players to watch and someone I am honored to call a friend.