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RubberDucks’ Lavisky enjoys playing close to home

5/29/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Craig Marks

Alex Lavisky
Photo courtesy of the Akron RubberDucks
DOWNTOWN AKRON — It’s not surprising that a catcher would be most comfortable around home.

Akron RubberDucks catcher Alex Lavisky grew up in Lakewood and caught for Lakewood’s St. Edward High School. St. Edward won the state baseball championship in Lavisky’s senior year, 2010.

Lavisky still has family and friends in the area, and they are no strangers to Canal Park.

“It’s a nice atmosphere,” said Lavisky. “You have a lot of people at the game all the time. I’m always leaving tickets, and it’s nice to see your buddies and your parents in the crowd.”

On Mother’s Day, Lavisky was able to go home after the Ducks’ game and visit with his parents, Julie and Tom Lavisky.

Alex said his mom is always there with good advice.

“Yeah, she expects a lot from me,” he said. “And I can make her proud and do what I’m supposed to do on the field and come home and have dinner. I learned everything from her and my dad. My work ethic came from them, and it’s good to have them close.”

So far this season, Team Lavisky has had lots of reasons to cheer. The 23-year-old catcher is having a solid year for the high-flying Ducks. Playing in 16 of the Ducks’ first 46 games, Lavisky was batting .296 and had a six-game hitting streak that ended May 21. Defensively, he threw out nine out of the first 16 runners who tried to steal on him.

Lavisky’s second year in Akron is turning out to be much more memorable than the first, when a toe injury six games into the season sidelined him until June. When he returned, he played for the Single-A Carolina Mudcats.

Lavisky was drafted by the Cleveland Indians in the eighth round of the June 2010 amateur draft. The Tribe was the team he grew up rooting for, and he remembers his dad and older brother going to an Indians postseason game in the late 1990s.

“They brought back a lot of stuff from the game,” he said. “I was a little too young to go, and my older brother was a little higher up on the totem pole. I still have the player program with David Justice on the cover.”

Lavisky was a big fan of Sandy Alomar, the Tribe’s former catcher and current first-base coach. Their paths would continue to cross.

“Growing up, I played on a travel ball team with his son, Marcus, and he would make it to a couple of games,” he said. “Marcus gave me a pair of his batting gloves. It was something special … and then, him remembering me when I was drafted.”

This weekend, Manager David Wallace’s RubberDucks host the Harrisburg Senators. For much of the season, Akron has been leading the Eastern League’s Western Division.

“We’ve got such a good group of guys,” said Lavisky. “Everybody’s talking about how young we are yet how mature we act on the field, on road trips and at home. It’s how we handle our business, go about things the right way, and it definitely trickles down from our coaching staff.”

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