Means Returns To Hoosiers After Summer on the Diamond
Aug. 6, 2008
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. - While most of the Indiana football team was busy this summer preparing for the 2008 football season, junior wide receiver Andrew Means was busy with a far different season. The Avon Lake, Ohio, native spent his summer playing professional baseball with the Cincinnati Reds' rookie league affiliate in Billings, Mont.
Following his third season with IU Baseball, Means was a First Team All-Big Ten selection and was drafted in the 10th round by the Reds. The centerfielder had the option of forgoing his football career to focus on baseball, but in the end, his heart was in Bloomington.
"I wasn't going to be able to keep playing baseball in Montana while this was going on in Bloomington," Means said. "So I had to come back."
In his rookie baseball campaign, Means played both in centerfield and at designated hitter, stealing six bases and scoring 16 runs for the Billings Mustangs of the Pioneer League. He saved his best game for a clutch situation, helping the Mustangs clinch the first-half title with a two-homer, seven RBI performance at the plate.
"I was really in a groove that day," Means said. "All season, I was learning to hit with a wooden bat, and that day I just got a few good swings on the ball."
Means said that the experience was very much a positive one for him, as he got to enjoy a different part of the country and the atmosphere of small-city minor league baseball.
"It was really beautiful out there," he said. "They had a great stadium and a lot of fans. There were 3,000 people there every night."
But now Means is back in Bloomington, ready to help the Hoosiers get back to a bowl game and help the program continue to move forward.
"I'm really excited to be back," Means said. "I love this team and I think it's going to be a great season for us."
Means had more than a few teammates on the gridiron happy to welcome him back to Bloomington.
"He's really important to this team," head coach Bill Lynch said of Means. "He brings maturity, he's a hardworking guy and he carries a lot of respect in the locker room. I think the experience he's had the last couple months (playing pro baseball) has to make you more competitive and a better athlete."
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