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Dan Plesac on Bryce Harper

I ran across an article in the Washington Post which discussed Bryce Harper's intention to gain weight so that he weighs around 240 pounds when he starts spring training. In reading the article, I noted some comments by former N.C. State pitching stand-out Dan Plesac:

"I think there’s some concern, but I think what tempers that concern is when you’re at that age, when you’re as young as he is, that he could in the process of spring training knock 10, 15 pounds off," began panelist Dan Plesac. "It looks like this additional weight, if he is able to put it on, and he’s not as mobile as he was before. And I think one of the things that makes Bryce Harper so appealing is the way he plays with reckless abandon. It’s stealing home from third base. It’s going from first to third. It’s covering balls in the gaps, and I think that’s the part that makes him a special player."

Plesac pitched for State in the early 1980's and was a first round pick of the Brewers in 1983. What I found interesting in an article on Plesac by GoPack is that Plesac signed to play both basketball and baseball for State:

"I could practice basketball from morning until dark and never get enough," said Plesac, who will be inducted into the NC State Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend with Steve Martin and former teammate Doug Strange. "Baseball was always just something to do in the summer."

The 6-foot-5 Plesac was intent on playing college basketball. He signed conference letters of intent to play hoops at both Purdue and NC State. He was recruited by former Wolfpack head coach Norman Sloan and then-assistant Monte Towe. But they left for Florida in the spring of 1980, not long after Plesac signed his letter. He never suited up in a basketball uniform.

Instead, he and Joe spent their time at Doak Field, refining their pitching skills under Esposito. Joe remained the more solid pitcher, but Dan was spring-loaded with potential, a long, strong lefty who wasn't yet baseball savvy.

"I was very lucky," Dan says today. "I came across a lot of people in my baseball life. Sam Esposito is at the top of that list. I wish I would have listened a little more intently at the time. I was probably like the majority of 18-to-20-year-olds. I thought I knew enough.

Joe referenced above in the sections taken from GoPack is Dan's brother.

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