February 12, 2007


Percival delivers new home base: Former Angels closer finances and personally builds baseball clubhouse at UC Riverside, his alma mater. (Bill Shaikin, February 12, 2007, LA Times)

It was early in the morning, way too early for a college student to stir. The coach was alone in his office, but the noise made it apparent he was not alone in the building.

He wandered into the clubhouse to see what was up. He was stunned. The greatest player in school history was perched atop a ladder, dipping a sponge into a bucket of water and scrubbing the ceiling.

Troy Percival looked down at his old coach. Then the longtime Angels closer and four-time All-Star went back to work, but not before UC Riverside Coach Doug Smith asked why. The Highlanders hoped Percival would build their new clubhouse, but not literally.

"I was going to go hire some guys," Percival told Smith. "I just decided to do it myself."

He imagined, designed, scrubbed, patched, hammered, sawed, painted, wired and installed. He paid for just about everything, with money and with sweat.

The Highlanders can't thank him enough and all he says is, hey, thanks for getting me out of the house.

"I like to work," he said, "and I've been sitting at home for a year. It gave me a chance to get my fingers dirty."

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 12, 2007 12:00 AM
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