Fister diverged from dad's athletic path

Excelling in baseball, not football, as youth paid off for Nats pitcher

Doug Fister, P, Nationals
Hometown: Merced, Calif.


Fister didn't stray very far from his roots as he climbed the athletic ranks. He was a standout at a public high school in town, like his father, Larry, was a generation prior. Then he enrolled at Merced College for two years of JUCO ball, like his father, before suiting up for nearby Fresno State for his final years of eligibility, like his father.

The difference? Larry played football. Doug took his skills to the diamond, and it paid off when the Mariners made him their the seventh-round pick in 2006.

Fister came a long way from his Golden Valley High days, when was a lanky, unrefined athlete who liked working on cars in his free time. He made the all-conference team -- as a batter -- after a senior season in which he hit .456 and had a habit of coming up big.

"He wasn't real vocal," said Scott Hague, Fister's GVHS coach. "But people would listen."

Tim Healey is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.