Zach Alvord has 7 national titles

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Jim Ecker        
Published: Thursday, July 09, 2009

Zach Alvord began winning national championships when he joined the vaunted East Cobb baseball program in Georgia when he was 12 years old. He’s been winning national titles ever since and has the hardware to prove it.

“I have seven rings,” he said proudly. “There were a few years where we won multiple championships.”

Alvord, now 17, lives in Alpharetta, Ga., about an hour’s drive from East Cobb.

“It’s really amazing, the program they’ve put together at East Cobb,” he said. “The coaches at East Cobb are awesome. I haven’t played for a coach at East Cobb that I haven’t liked.”

The East Cobb program has claimed 133 national titles since 1985, according to its web site, with travel teams ranging from 8U through 18U, all under the direction of Guerry Baldwin. They play games from late February through November and produce top draft picks and outstanding college players every year.

Alvord estimates his teams have played 85 to 90 games per year, with a remarkable winning percentage. “We don’t have many losses,” he said. “I’ll put it that way.”

Alvord, a middle infielder and pitcher, has been selected for the 2009 Aflac High School All-American Classic that will be played at PETCO Park in San Diego on Aug. 16. He’s accustomed to traveling all over the country for premier baseball events, but did not anticipate making this one.

“I knew the Aflac game was really tough to get to,” he said. “I know some of the guys who made the Aflac game last year, and they’re really some of the top players in the country. When they told me I’d been selected, at first it didn’t hit me. It’s a huge achievement. I was extremely excited to hear it.”

Alvord hit 16 home runs at South Forsyth High School this season. He’s an outstanding shortstop with a strong arm, but said he’d be happy to play either shortstop or second base at the next level. He’s committed to play college baseball at Auburn and also could be a top prospect for the 2010 draft.

Alvord’s parents, John and Jan, both went to Auburn, and Zach has been a big fan of the Tigers for as long as he can remember. He’s attended Auburn football and baseball games, and describes the Auburn baseball field as one of the best in the nation.

“I just thought to myself, what if I could be out there some day?” he remarked. “Auburn has always been my No.1 college choice.” He also talked to Georgia, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla.) and Florida before making it official.

When Alvord isn’t playing baseball, he enjoys working with young kids as a volunteer hitting coach in a recreation program.

“I love working with kids,” he said. “There’s always something you can teach a kid. There are so many things that kids need to know.”

He loves baseball and loves going to the park, but took a rare day off on a Monday in late June to relax. “I’m going fishing,” he said.
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