It seems especially fitting to post this story on Christmas Day as it is one of persistence and hope.
Ever since his selection at 18th overall in the first round of the 2007 draft, shortstop Pete Kozma quietly worked on his game. After almost six years of trying, the 24-year-old may have experienced his 15 minutes of fame with perhaps the most unlikely story of the 2012 St. Louis Cardinals.
Kozma became the club’s everyday shortstop in September and kept the job through the post-season. During much of that time, he was uncharacteristically good when his team needed him the most.
Following the Cardinals elimination from the post-season, manager Mike Matheny summed it up this way:
“I don’t believe that we’re here right now, and I don’t know if we would have got out of September, early October, if we hadn’t had Pete Kozma step up like he did,” the manager said. “He’s been a tremendous shortstop for us.”
Back on draft day, the choice was second-guessed by some who had hoped the Cardi...