From baseball to entrepreneur, Scott ‘Hoppy’ Hopgood is still in the game

2
47
WEBhoppy2.jpg

It all started at the age of 12 for Scott “Hoppy” Hopgood. Most baseball players start at the younger age of 4 to 5 years old as little ears, but due to his parents’ divorce it was difficult for Hoppy to play organized baseball.

However the first year he played for Balboa Little League as a 12-year old and the following year, with just one year as shortstop, made the All-Star squad. Hopgood also pitched at this time, and with his love of the game had no qualms about his position. He just wanted to play ball.

It all started at the age of 12 for Scott “Hoppy” Hopgood. Most baseball players start at the younger age of 4 to 5 years old as little ears, but due to his parents’ divorce it was difficult for Hoppy to play organized baseball.

However the first year he played for Balboa Little League as a 12-year old and the following year, with just one year as shortstop, made the All-Star squad. Hopgood also pitched at this time, and with his love of the game had no qualms about his position. He just wanted to play ball.

An excited, eager young freshman decided to tryout at Santana High School and missed tryouts due to parent scheduling. He was determined and in his sophomore year at Santana High tried out for the Junior Varsity squad and was cut. Hopgood had a change of scenery, which would be a regular occurrence in his baseball career and moved in with his mother residing in Escondido. He is not a man to easily be defeated, thus he tried out for the varsity squad as a junior at Orange Glen High and made the team. Three weeks into the season he would move back in with dad, tryout for varsity and was sent back down to junior varsity.

Senior year was now upon him, and his last year played on a very talented 20-5 Santana Sultans squad.

“Coach Jim Saska and Coach Jerry Henson were two of the best coaches I played for,” said Hopgood.

He was a little perplexed that only one school in Arizona was scouting him.
He enrolled in Grossmont Community College in El Cajon. Once again he tried out for the baseball team and was cut his first year. Mr. Persistent would fight hard, play his heart out and made the team his second year under Coach Ed Olsen.

“I was playing for him on his 200th win and coaching at the time of his 500th win. Olsen was great,” he said.


In 1993 opportunity came knocking. A small school, Hill Junior College in Hillsboro, Texas offered him a scholarship.

“I wanted to play so bad that I packed up my truck and drove 22.5 hours,” he said. “I received a full ride scholarship, including room and board.”

He started at shortstop, did not play well at the beginning with a new program, being homesick, and more. He eventually finished up with a .350 batting average and ranked 15th in the nation. The next year was just as spectacular but the team ended up losing in the Texas State Baseball Tournament.

Then came the biggest blow to his career. The Cleveland Indians sent scouts ready to sign him after this last game of the season when a line drive hit Hopgood in the face, and the scouts were done. Time to go back to San Diego.

Hopgood would continue his play in 1994 at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor where he made 2nd team all-conference and 1st team all Texas.

Hopgood was told many times by many teams to expect a phone call. The Detroit Tigers stated they would love to have him, but another draft passed.
In 1995 the San Diego Stars hooked up with him and he served as an assistant coach alongside head coach Mickey Deutschman.

He would go on to Chico State to get his Physical Education degree, put together one of the best high school baseball squads at West Hills High, and wound up teaching and coaching at Serra High School. In late 2012 according to the Serra administration, enrollment was too low to justify his position and he was also let go from coaching baseball at Serra “for pressing the kids too hard to win.”


“I couldn’t believe that I was let go for teaching kids to compete,” he said.

He would continue to coach elsewhere including helping develop Washington Nationals standout, Stephen Strasberg.

Hopgood and his wife have two daughters and a son. In 2014 Hoppy worked as an instructor for Sportland Power Alley batting cages until a year and a half later they pulled the plug. He had to think of something quickly. With the assistance from his father-in-law, he opened up his own batting cages and baseball instruction in January and H12 Academy was born.

Besides Hopgood, instructors include 24-year professional baseball player Nelson Simmons, and former Texas Ranger, Charles Moorman among others.

So start your little leaguer or high schooler off right, take them to the H12 Academy, 9314 Bond Ave in El Cajon.

2 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here