GIVE IT ALL YOU’VE GOT — Pictured is Paul Goldschmidt, an Arizona Diamondback first baseman and grandson of Springville resident Doris Nason. Photo used courtesy of L.M. Parr/Arizona Diamondbacks.
SPRINGVILLE — Paul Goldschmidt is the starting first baseman for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He is also the grandson of Springville resident Doris Nason.
Goldschmidt was born in Wilmington, Del., shortly before his family moved to Texas.
The son of David and Kim Goldschmidt, the athlete began playing baseball at an early age. He attended Woodlands High School, located just outside of Houston.
HARD WORK PAYS OFF — Paul Goldschmidt leads the National League in RBIs, with 61, and ranks second in home runs. Photo used courtesy of Jordan Megenhardt/Arizona Diamondbacks. Inset photo used courtesy of Jon Willey/Arizona Diamondbacks.
Paul Goldschmidt was drafted out of high school by the Los Angeles Dodgers, who held his rights for 3 years, while the athlete attended Texas State University. Goldschmidt’s best friend and high school teammate, Kyle Drabek, was also drafted into the majors, out of high school.
“Paul is just such a great kid,” his grandmother said. “Paul has always been a talented baseball player and an extremely hard worker. He was surrounded by some really good players, in high school, and we knew that some of them would eventually make it to the big leagues. It’s no surprise to me that he’s having so much success, to this point.”
While attending Texas State, Goldschmidt was twice named the Southland Conference Player of the Year. After his junior year of college and, with no contract offer from the Dodgers, Goldschmidt was given the option to sign with another team.
The Arizona Diamondbacks signed him to a contract and gave him a chance to play in the minor league system.
In 2011, Goldschmidt hit .306, with 30 home runs and 94 runs batted in, in 103 games, for Double-A Mobile.
That season led to Goldschmidt’s being called up to the major league, for the final two months of the baseball season.
Last year, Goldschmidt played the entire season in the majors, for the Diamondbacks. He batted .286, with 20 home runs, 43 doubles and 82 RBIs.
Goldschmidt has been commended, by teammates and coaches, for his strong work ethic and positive attitude. “Paul is a very humble young man,” Nason said.
“He always has shown an appreciation for the people who helped him get to where he is now,” she added. “He is very thankful for his parents and all that they’ve done to help him. Paul is the type of person who works hard, each and every day, in order to constantly improve.”
At 25, and coming off a complete season in 2012, Goldschmidt was rewarded by the Diamondbacks, by being offered a five-year, $32 million contract extension, just before this season.
At 6 feet 3 inches and 245 pounds, Goldschmidt fits the average size for a big league first baseman. According to the athlete, his size helps him with his power hitting and has also helped him improve, defensively.
Goldschmidt lives in Scottsdale, Ariz. with his wife Amy, whom he met, at Texas State University.
Since Goldschmidt signed with the Diamondbacks, after his junior year of college, he was never able to finish his schooling.
This past year, Goldschmidt earned a degree in finance at the University of Phoenix.
David and Kim Goldschmidt still live in Texas, but many of the athlete’s family members live in Western New York.
Aunts Jeanne Dallas and Mary Kay Beckerich live in Springville. Several of Paul Goldschmidt’s uncles also live in the area, including Jim Nason of Orchard Park, Dale Nason of Hamburg and Tom Nason of East Aurora.
At the start of the 2013 season, Goldschmidt leads the National League in RBIs, with 61.
He is batting .305 and ranks second in home runs, in the National League, with 16. That start has helped lead the Diamondbacks to first place, in the National League West Division.
Despite becoming a star on the biggest stage in baseball, Goldschmidt still keeps in contact with his grandmother. “Paul calls me every couple of weeks, to see how I’m doing,” Nason said.
“He’s so thoughtful, because I know how busy he is and how much time he puts into being a professional baseball player,” she said. “For him to still have the time and thought to call me is amazing. It’s exciting to talk to him and see how much he’s grown up, over the years.
“He’s come so far and it’s incredible, to think that my grandson plays in the major league. I’m going to see him play twice, in August: in Boston and in Philadelphia. It’s always exciting, going to see him play in person. I just wish his grandfather was still with us, to see how far he’s made it. I’m so proud of Paul and all that he’s accomplished. He deserves everything that he gets and his family loves him.”