In the Great American Pastime, its not particularly uncommon for a promising baseball pitcher to eventually turn into an even-more-outstanding hitter. Consider this example at the professional level: Babe Ruth won 89 games before the age of 25 as a left-handed pitcher for the Red Sox, but he became the mythological Sultan of Swat with the Yankees. The case in point is more widespread among younger amateur players, of course. Take the baseball career of Pat Sanders, now a Captain in the Huntsville Fire and Rescue Department, his employer for the past 16 years. When he was a junior at Lee High School, Sanders threw a no-hitter against Buckhorn. He also finished the season with 57 strikeouts in 45 innings and an ERA of 2.80. As a senior, he finished with a 6-2 record, had 48 strikeouts in 44 innings, improved his ERA to 1.72, was named first-team All-City and Pitcher of the Year in Huntsville, defeated the eventual state champion in Game 1 of the state semifinals, won his teams Gold Glove Award and was named the teams MVP. He pitched for the Northwest Babe Ruth state champions in 1989 and the American Legion state champions in 1990. But in a harbinger of things to come, he also batted .352 with five home runs as a junior at Lee and .379 with 10 homers as a senior in 1989. Sanders signed a baseball scholarship with Faulkner University in Montgomery, played two seasons, then transferred to Cumberland University in Lebanon, Tenn., in 1992. At Cumberland, he was named the team MVP in 1993 and the Offensive Production Award winner the same year. By then he had settled in at first base, and he was picked All-Conference, All-District and NAIA All-American after batting .351 with 17 home runs and a school-record 92 runs batted in. Drafted in the 19th round by the Oakland As, Sanders played in the As minor league organization from 1993-95 at Southern Oregon and West Michigan. Returning to Huntsville, he was a graduate assistant at UAH in 1995 and then became an assistant coach at Lee, serving from 1997-98, 2005, and 2012-14. So many people have influenced my athletic success, Sanders said. My parents, Columbus and Olivia Sanders, always supported my baseball decisions and provided the resources I needed to succeed, not only in baseball but also in life. It meant so much to me when Dad and Shine, or Paul Readus, or any of his other buddies would travel all over to watch me play. Birmingham, Montgomery, Lebanon, Tennessee, Des Moines, Iowa, Medford, Oregon, they were always there. I appreciate my lifelong friends, David Keel and Tony Ivey, who brought out the competitiveness in me and motivated me to want to be better. Jerry Keel deserves special thanks. He used to take David and me to city parks and throw batting practice. Hed throw to us from about ten feet in front of the mound. Sometimes his only protection would be a park garbage can or anything we could find to help protect him. I cant leave out the many coaches especially Butch Weaver at Lee and Woody Hunt at Cumberland who helped me along the way. Coach Weaver continues to teach me, and Coach Hunt taught me to be a good person and do the right thing. Pat Sanders has been married to Melinda for 14 years. They have two sons, Jordyn and Will.