Jerry Augustine: A three-sport athlete
By Kris Leonhardt
Continued from last week
When Jerry got to high school, he was a three-sport athlete — football, basketball and baseball.
“You know, I think some of the people that I became close to in high school — as coaches and teachers — I think had a direct impact on how I was able to move on in my life and become a major player, to be honest with you. I think it all starts from when I was a child. There’s a guy in Kewaunee by the name of Pete Rohr, and Pete Rohr lived right down the street from us. And when I was in fifth and sixth and seventh grade, everybody played a little basketball and things like that. He would actually stop by the house and pick me up because he was the varsity basketball player and take me to the game and then bring me home after the game. Because, my mom and dad would never go to those games, but Pete would pick me up and he had a buddy of his… they would pick me up and literally take me to the game, get me into the game and I was sitting watch the game,” Augustine recalled. “After [the game] was over I’d sit and wait, and they would take me home and they’d walk home. I remember we used to stop at a store and get an ice cream bar or something on the way home.
“When you talk about people who influenced your life, I think Pete Rohr was one that was so special that I had the opportunity that he really influenced me at a young age.
“And then, when I got into high school and was a three-sport player, I would have to say Don Rabas, Bob Murphy, along with George Barkey, absolutely had a lot to do with me being a professional baseball player.”
A Green Bay Press-Gazette article foretells Augustine’s career in Major League Baseball in May 1970, stating “One rival manager thought Jerry Augustine could make the big leagues.
“Few in the Northeastern Wisconsin Conference dare to refute that for the Kewaunee High School pitcher has been the dominating force in the Indians’ surge to the top.
“Augustine, a hard-throwing multi-pitch hurler who is still feeling effects of a football injury and long basketball campaign, has hurled six league games for Kewaunee and won them all.
“Augustine’s fastball is wicked enough but he relies on an assortment of pitches and top-notch control.”
Summer league also contributed to Augustine’s opportunity to flourish in the sport during his high school career.
“When in summertime, I played on the team; [Rohr] played short,” he recalled.
“My summer time when I was in high school and I got to play baseball with our summer team, I got the pitch and there in some national tournaments because of that. It was those guys that really, along with Murph and some of the guys that I had for high school coaches, that really had a lot to do with teaching me about growing up and pitching at a higher level.”
Next week: Augustine’s other talents