By Mark Godi
For prized baseball recruit Bobby Raymos, rock bottom was sitting behind bars on his 18th birthday.
In 2009, the right-handed pitcher came out of Tokay High. He accepted the largest amount of scholarship money the University of Pacific had given to a baseball player in five years. Two weeks into his first semester, however, he was arrested and pled guilty to gun possession and a hate crime.
The next month was spent in the San Joaquin County Jail and Raymos soon found out he would not be welcomed back at Pacific. He turned 18 on September 23rd and shortly after made the humbling choice to enroll at San Joaquin Delta College. He is completing his sophomore year and appears to be back on top.
“The hardest thing for me was spending my 18th birthday in jail,” Raymos said. “That is something that I’ll never get back.
“I mean, I had it all at (Pacific). All my tuition was paid for, my books, everything. I had extra money for meals and stuff.”
According to Raymos, people who had been drinking began showing up at his north-campus townhouse. As the crowd grew, an altercation occurred and the police showed up.
He and an officer traded verbal barbs and someone tipped off police that he had a hand gun in his car. Not long after, Raymos was charged and reluctantly pled guilty. He served community service and spent a year on probation after his jail time.
“I made some poor decisions,” Raymos said. “I won’t deny that. But I feel like the whole thing was a misunderstanding because I have never been a troublemaker.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I have had an interest in guns and law enforcement since I was a kid. I did my senior project at Tokay on the Lodi Police. I used to go to the shooting range all the time.”
After leaving jail, Raymos hoped to return to Pacific but was told by the athletic department that he could not. Instead, he took a medical redshirt for 2009-10 at Delta with severe tendonitis. An interview request was made for Pacific coach Ed Sprague but he did not immediately respond.
“I have absolutely no hard feelings at (Pacific) or the people there or coach Sprague,” Raymos said. “I still see coach Sprague around town sometimes and I have the utmost respect for him.”
At Tokay, Raymos was a two-time All-Area selection by The Record. He boasted a 1.59 ERA as a junior while going 6-2. That same year he hit .420.
His first active season with Delta was last year as he helped the team win the California Community College Athletic Association Championship. Raymos went 3-2 with a 3.74 ERA out of the bullpen.
He was without off-field trouble in 2011, but struggled at times on the field with his control. He led the Mustangs relievers with 11 walks and often got frustrated if an inning started going wrong.
This year, he’s much calmer on the mound regardless of how the game is going. Raymos is Delta’s No. 1 starting pitcher and leads the team with a 6-2 record and a 2.27 ERA.
“We told Bobby before the year started that we expected him to be leader this year,” Delta pitching coach Denny Peterson said. “He’s done just that and I couldn’t be more proud of him.
“He’s really matured.”
Raymos has heard from several Division I coaches this year, but says he doesn’t yet know where he’ll be next year. All he knows is that on September 23rd, he will not be spending his 21st birthday behind bars.
“There will be no more birthday’s in jail,” Raymos said. “I can guarantee you that.”
JRN 600 Assignment 2: Write a feature story of 600 words.. Include an audio, visual elements plus a interactive poll or chat.