Where are they now: Desi Relaford
Florida Times-Union, Sunday, Jul. 12, 2009
Athletic accomplishments: A Sandalwood graduate, Relaford spent 11 seasons as a shortstop with seven big-league teams. He was a fourth-round draft pick of the Seattle Mariners in 1991, playing two minor-league seasons with the Jacksonville Suns. Relaford was the Southern League's youngest player in 1993 at age 19. After being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1996, he made his major-league debut the next day and spent five seasons in that organization before being shipped to the San Diego Padres. Relaford had his best season with the New York Mets in 2001, hitting .302 with eight home runs and 36 RBI. Overall, he played in 939 big-league games and had a career batting average of .243. At Sandalwood, he was named to the Class 6A All-State team and signed to play at Tennessee before electing to turn pro.
What he's doing now: Since his release from the Texas Rangers in 2007, Relaford has stayed busy. Besides enrolling in school at the University of North Florida (majoring in nutrition), he's getting ready to open an instructional school at a indoor baseball facility on Southside Boulevard. Relaford, 36, also runs a hip-hop record label, 6Hole Records, that he's owned since 2001. Relaford and his wife, Cass, have two sons (Jevin, Casmond), ages 7 and 5.
On playing baseball with guys that he knew used performance-enhancing drugs: "I knew what was going on in the minor leagues. I had roommates that were on steroids. I stuck to my guns and eked out eight full-time seasons [without using PEDs]. I was a vegetarian for two years while I played in the big leagues. It angers me when I see people either look the other way [toward PED users], or say it's no big deal, and still think of those players as heroes."