Jamie Hoffmann was originally an eighth-round pick in the 2003 NHL Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, but was undrafted to play baseball despite leading his school to the 3A state baseball championship in 2002. That same season the New Ulm, Minnesota native amassed the school's single season hits record with 52. He was planning on attending Colorado College but instead chose to sign with the Dodgers.
For more on his career and other things you may not have known, we are going to lead-off with Jamie Hoffmann:
AlbuquerqueBaseball.com: At the beginning of career you were drafted in fifth round for hockey but went undrafted for baseball - talk about how you fell into baseball and how you made your decision about what sport to pick?
Jamie Hoffmann: I basically had one day to decide. Originally I decided to play college hockey and that was what I was going to do. I got drafted for hockey so that's what my plan was. I didn't get a whole lot of baseball attention but one day, right before the end of the summer before I was going to school, the Dodgers came in and watched an American Legion tournament. They gave me a day to decide and baseball was the way I decided to go.
AB.com: After being called up from Chattanooga you spent an entire eight-game road trip with the team. The only day you were home in Albuquerque, you were called up to Los Angeles....What was your reaction and what was the next few days like?
JH: It was absolutely crazy. When [Isotopes manager Tim] Wallach told me I was pumped. I didn't know what to say, I was so quiet. When I got out I called my folks and told them. They were pretty pumped as was my little sister. The next day I was in front of 50,000 fans in LA. I had never seen that many before and I caught myself smiling a lot. I was pretty nervous for sure.
AB.com: In your first at-bat of your first start you hit a three-run home run - talk about that experience
JH: It was crazy. The night before I had a bad at-bat and I got punched out with a runner on third. I was frustrated because that's not the way I want to approach things. So the next day I just wanted to come out swinging the bat hard and fortunately it worked out.
AB.com: Now that you've had some time at home in Albuquerque, how has your time been here so far? Any particular things that you've gone to around the city?
JH: I like Albuquerque quite a bit. We haven't had too much time here because it seems like every time we come here we've been leaving pretty shortly afterwards. I've been at the hotel a lot and I eat a lot. It's a great fan base here and it's a fun park to play at.
AB.com: Complete this sentence: "Most people don't know that I..."
JH: Most people don't know that I...go ice fishing.
AB.com: Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Are there really that many or are they just saying that so people come?
JH: Nah there's quite a few lakes. In the summer you can fish and in the winter you can too. So that's what I do.
AB.com: Greatest pro wrestler from Minnesota: Jesse Ventura or Mr. Perfect Curt Hennig?
JH: I'd say Jesse Ventura because he was our Governor so he gets a little extra credit.
AB.com: Who's more of an athlete: a pro golfer or a pro wrestler?
JH: I'd have to say a pro wrestler. Those guys are huge! Like, those guys are gi-normous.
AB.com: Who was your favorite ball player when you were a kid?
JH: Kirby Puckett
AB.com: What about for hockey?
JH: It was Mike Modano until the Northstars moved away and then probably Jeremy Roenick later on.
AB.com: Is the Mighty Ducks series the greatest hockey movies of all-time?
JH: No chance, not even close. I like Slap Shot. Slap Shot was my favorite hockey movie.
AB.com: Tell me a first year, rookie ball horror story.
JH: I would have to say my first Spring Training experience moving into Dodgertown, knew nobody, and I moved into a room with five Dominicans and me. I had been in hockey so it was all Midwestern white guys and then I moved into a room with five guys that didn't speak any English. I was like, 'what did I get myself into?' I had no idea what was going on.
AB.com: What are some pregame superstitions or rituals you can talk about?
JH: I really don't have superstitions. Pre-game - I eat before the game and take a shower - that's it.
AB.com: Favorite pre-game meal?
JH: I'd say that I generally go with a sandwich and chips every day. I'm pretty boring when it comes to that.
AB.com: What is the first thing you look for in a new town: a good steakhouse, yoga class, golf course, or library?
JH: Definitely not a library. Yoga class - that's a good suggestion. I should probably start doing that in the morning and it'd be an easy way to meet some women. I'd have to say a good steakhouse.
AB.com: What was the last karaoke song you sang?
JH: Good question. My go-to karaoke song is the song from Top Gun - "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'."
AB.com: The Jonas Brothers: are they really brothers, and how many of them are there?
JH: I don't care.
AB.com: Sunflower seeds or bubble gum?
JH: Bubblegum - I'm always blowing bubbles.
AB.com: What was the last animated show you watched?
JH: Probably Family Guy.
AB.com: What's the worst reality show you've ever seen?
JH: They're all pretty bad. I watched Real World last night and had a little bit of interest in that one.
AB.com: Whose funnier: A) Dave Chappelle B) The guys who make South Park C) Dane Cook or D) Someone Else?
JH: Chappelle - I like Chappelle's Show. That's pretty funny.
AB.com: Those ESPN afternoon shows with the reporters....why are they always yelling at each other?
JH: They have too much TV time. There are just so many hours in the day and they have to talk about something. We just watched NFL Live. The NFL doesn't start for how long - why do you need a half hour show right now?
AB.com: If you could meet anyone, alive or dead, who would it be and why?
JH: That's a good question - that's tough. I would've really liked to have met Kirby Puckett. I've heard great things about him and he's my childhood idol.
AB.com: Final question - which is also New Mexico's official state question: red or green chile?
JH: I have to go with green chile.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.