Big Reds’ Parker headed to Fairmont

PARKERSBURG -It’s a scenario that has been played out in thousands of backyards.

Dad teaches young son how to throw a ball, hit a ball, catch a ball.

Son grows up to be a successful baseball player.

Count the Parker family of Parkersburg as the latest to accomplish that scenario.

Cole Parker can’t remember how many times his father Matt played ball with him, passing on his skills to his son.

“My dad taught me everything,” said Cole Parker, who followed in his father’s footsteps by playing baseball at Parkersburg High School.

Playing it well enough to sign a letter-of-intent to continue his baseball career at Fairmont State University.

Cole, who graduated from PHS a year early, had originally planned on attending West Virginia University and majoring in philosophy.

But Parkersburg High School assistant coach Mike Goodwin -who has connections at Fairmont -asked Parker if he would be interested in going to Fairmont and playing baseball.

Parker visited Fairmont, liked the campus and the coaching staff and the next thing he knew he was the newest member of the Fighting Falcons.

“They’ve got a great facility in Bridgeport,” said Parker, a special honorable mention selection on the Class AAA all-state baseball team.

Parker is a versatile player, having played shortstop, catcher and pitcher. In fact, he played all three in the same game for PHS. In 26 American Legion games for Parkersburg Post 15, he is hitting .426 with 23 RBIs, three triples and a like number of doubles.

Asked his favorite position, Parker prefers catcher. Not only does that speak volumes about his tenacity and competitiveness, but it also shows that he is thinking about his future.

He knows there are lots of shortstops and pitchers available to advance up the baseball ladder, but catchers -perhaps more than any other position -are in short supply.

An honor student in the classroom -he carried a 3.9 grade point average -Parker is considering pursuing a law degree and believes that philosophy will serve him well as a pre-law major. He’s not entirely sure what kind of law he wants to practice, but has an interest in patent law.

The son of Matt and Amy Parker, Cole has battled more than his share of injuries this season. In addition to having Osgood Slaughter’s disease in a hip, he also suffered tendonitis in a wrist.

But in spite of his laid-back demeanor, he’s a fiery competitor with a burning desire to succeed be it in the classroom or on the baseball diamond.