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Gold and Black Illustrated Volume 28, Digital 5

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 28, ISSUE 5 9 Sitting at his kitchen table earlier this year, Jermaine Al- lensworth couldn't believe what he was hear- ing. The former Purdue and Major League base- ball player thought he was being pranked by a former teammate. But rather, senior associate athletics director Tom Schott was on the phone tell- ing him he'd been selected as a member of the 2018 Purdue Hall of Fame class. "I had to make sure that I really heard what I heard," said Allensworth, who was a two-time All-Big Ten out- fielder for Purdue from 1991-93, then played four seasons in the MLB. "He said it again and left me speechless. It was kind of the last thing on my mind. I hadn't thought about it at all. "But it's a blessing. I feel very honored." Allensworth, who will be in In- dianapolis for the May 10 Hall of Fame ceremony, lives in Bloom- ington, Ill., with wife Susan, daughter Kaylee and son Jaden. Having never quite been able to break away from sports, Jermaine Allensworth works as an instructional baseball coach for youths and an IHSA basketball referee. Gold and Black: It's been 25 years now since you played at Purdue. How do you look back at your ca- reer as a Boilermaker and professionally? Allensworth: "I'm in an exclusive class. Everybody can't say they made it to The Show. I was blessed to get a scholarship to go to Purdue, and for the time that I was there I had really good teammates and good chemistry. It was a lot of fun and a great learning experience. I really enjoyed myself, my whole time playing baseball. For the most part. There was always times, like they call the 'Dog days of summer.'" Gold and Black: What stands out? Allensworth: "(Laughs). It's hard for me to forget ... well, like I said I had a lot of fun and we had a lot of good wins. "Two things significantly stand out: We had been try- ing to get Florida State on our schedule, but they never wanted to play us. We weren't 'good enough' for FSU. They finally decided they were going to play us, down there on spring break. We took care of them, and that's all I can say about it. We took care of them. That's on the positive note. "But on the negative side, we were in the Big Ten Tournament — and I just can not forget this — we were up 9-1 on Indiana in the bottom of the last inning and up 9-3 with two outs, and we ended up losing that game on a grand slam. It was like, 'Really, did that just happen?' The inning just went on forever. We couldn't get anybody out. The craziest thing. "I bring it up all the time to kids I work with." Gold and Black: As an exam- ple that anything can happen in baseball? Allensworth: "Absolutely. ... I use it as an example to stay with it. The old cliché that it's not over, 'til the fat lady sings. You keep clawing on the baseball field, that's why you play and play the game hard. You run balls out. You don't know if a guy is going to drop a ball, throw it somewhere, or an error. As long as you stay with it, anything is possible." Gold and Black: Are you happy to have stayed close to the game? Allensworth: "I am. It's been kind of hard for me to get away. I'm very passionate about the game, for as long as I remember. It's been hard for me to kick it. I've done sports for so long, and probably why I'm a basketball ref too, because I love basketball. It's a way to stay in touch with the game, watch kids grow, progress, get better. And on the same side, that's why I do the instruction. I like to see kids improve their skills, learn about the game and continue to work to get to where they want to go or where they want to go with it. It's been a good ride." — As told to Kyle Charters Boiler Index Gold and Black archives

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