From his dad, to his grandfather and to his cousin, and uncle, everyone in Jake Yacinich’s family seemed has been involved in baseball.
The game is in his blood.
Yacinich, a former infielder at Dowling Catholic who spent the last three seasons playing at Iowa, signed with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Tuesday.
“I’ve always thought of this day and tried to picture it and things like that,” Yacinich said. “It just went great. I’m really excited.”
The left-handed hitting Yacinich, a shortstop, hit .365 with six doubles, four triples, and one home run as a junior for the Hawkeyes this season.
“I think there’s still a lot of upside,” Iowa coach Rick Heller said. “I just think he’s going to continue to grow and get better.”
The Angels selected Yacinich in the eighth-round of this year’s Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft last week.
Yacinich isn’t the only member of his family with a deep background in baseball. His father Pat played at Grand View and coached at Des Moines Roosevelt. Jake’s grandfather Lou is the long-time coach for the Vikings.
There’s more. His cousin Pat Mahoney played professionally too and even his uncle Mike Mahoney is a former big-league catcher.
“I think a lot of my family is really proud of me and happy to see me continue in my career doing something that I love,” Yacinich said.
Yacinich, who had one year of eligibility left, said deciding to leave Iowa was not an easy choice.
“I’ll die for those guys any day of the week,” he said.
Yacinich did not release details of the contract.
“I got the money that was fair to me and that I was looking for,” Yacinich said.
Yacinich said the plan is for him to fly to Utah on Thursday to join the Orem Owlz,, the Rookie Ball affiliate of the Angels. He might be back in Iowa soon. The Burlington Bees are the Class A affiliate of the Angels.
One step at a time, though.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Yacinich said.