With the summer simmering along outside, Lonnie Kauppila is restless inside.
A ball, a mit and a bat call him, just as they’ve done since he was but 5 years old. And without them, the summer is simply stumbling along.
“I’m pretty much in the dumps right now,” says Kauppila, who recently graduated from Burbank High and will shortly venture north to take the next step and his next swing at Stanford University.
Not long after wrapping up his stellar high school career in June, Kauppila underwent surgery for a torn labrum and it’s left him with little to do other than ride a stationary bike and think of all the hours of baseball lost to the injury.
“I just don’t get bored of it,” says Kauppila of baseball. “There’s really no limit for baseball.”
Many believe Kauppila’s potential in baseball is rather limitless, as well.
Hence, he’s off to Stanford in the coming months, in June, he was selected by the Oakland Athletics in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft and turned in an All-CIF and All-Pacific League senior season with a line of a .443 average, 35 runs, 22 runs batted in, 15 extra-base hits and 21 stolen bases.
Most impressive about Kauppila, however, was his overall body of work, one in which he put on display dynamic fielding prowess, the ability to hit for average and power and the speed and smarts on the bases to become a weapon there, as well.
It is for these attributes, accolades and talents that Kauppila, for a second consecutive year, was voted the 2010 All-Area Baseball Player of the Year by the sports editors and writers of the Glendale News-Press, Burbank Leader and La Cañada Valley Sun.
“I think I’ll be set for next season,” says a confident Kauppila.
“I try to make my hands as quick as possible,” Kauppila says. “I work on that all the time.”
“I’m just excited to get up there and get this rolling,”