Defying the Odds, Becoming a Prospect
In a province that offers more opportunities for those involved with winter sports,
Corner Brook’s Frank Humber did what many thought was nearly impossible. Humberrose through the ranks of minor baseball all the way to becoming a prospect in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
Humber’s baseball career started at the age of seven. He joined the Corner Brook Minor Baseball Association and quickly became a force to be reckoned with on the mound. He was a little bigger than most his age, had an above average fastball, could hit and was a lefty to boot. His keen sense for the game and his natural talent made him every coach’s dream player.
His coaches challenged him to strive for great things and at the age of sixteen, Humber had the opportunity to play some exhibition games against a visiting American team from Fairfax,Virginia. One of the families invited Humber to the Washington,D.C.area where he played for what he thought was a single year of high school ball. However, this family moved to Fort Lauderdale, Florida and invited Humberto stay with them the following year where he played his senior year in one of the best high school baseball programs in the country.
By the time the 1985 season was over,Humber had been named the player of the year in his high school division and the offers of scholarships poured in from many of the division one college teams. He settled on Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem,North Carolina, allowing him to play in the Atlantic Coast Conference, one of the top NCAA baseball conferences around.
During his university days, Humber was a top performer, leading his wins and ERA.
During the 1987 season, Humber played for the Canadian team at the Pan-Am games, and was back again in 1988 when baseball became a demonstration sport at the Olympics. This was the same year he was offered a contract with the St. Louis Cardinals but declined, his vision clearly set on the Olympics.
Later that year, Frank was selected in the sixteenth round of the MLB draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers organization. He was sent to Great Falls, Montana where he racked up a 3-1 record and a 3.13 ERA. He followed that up with another great season in the California ‘A’ League, posting a 3.47 ERA, 6-5 record with 13 saves.
Humber never rose any higher in the professional ranks to which he himself attributes to not having a great breaking ball.
His passion for baseball never waned. He returned to his native Corner Brook and picked up where he left off, competing with the Corner Brook Barons in the senior league, coaching minor ball and eventually becoming the coach of the Newfound land and Labradorsquad for the Canada Games.
He’s still active today and throughout his long career,Humber has been described as a gentleman and one of the best team players to be around. He has become an inspiration to many baseball fans in the province and has given every baseball player in Newfound land hope that it is possible to make it in the big leagues.