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Published On: May 23rd, 2006

Over the last four years, there have been several constants at Warner Park. One: there will always be great entertainment on and off the field at the Duck Pond. Another constant: Mike Rohde will be playing for the Mallards and loving every minute of it.

“It’s an honor to be asked back every year,” said Rohde, the first four-year Mallard. “It’s such a great team in a great league. I have a lot of teammates who ask me to hook them up in Madison and it’s tough to get them there, so I’m definitely humbled that I keep coming back.”

After last season, there was no doubt the Mallards wanted Rohde back in Madison. The South Division’s starter at second base in the annual Northwoods League All-Star Game, Rohde finished the season with a .312 average and knocked in a team-high 34 runs. He has several career records to his credit in Madison.

After being named Second-Team All-Big Ten last season as a DH, Rohde has become the starting third baseman for the University of Illinois this spring. “It was a struggle early. I was trying to get comfortable after not playing third for a few years. Right now, though, it’s going pretty well.”

So well that he may be selected in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft. While Rohde admits it would be flattering to be chosen, he isn’t holding his breath. “I feel I can offer a lot to a team. I can play several positions (first base, second base and third base) and bat left-handed. I learned, though, that nothing’s for sure after seeing Rogo’s (Ryan Rogowski) situation last year.”

It was believed by many that Rogowski would be selected last June in the draft, but he wasn’t. He did sign a free agent deal in August with the Los Angeles Dodgers. “It’s up to other people,” said Rohde, regarding the draft. “I’ve learned that you never know.”

“I think I’m in a great position. I can be drafted or I can play 68 games in Madison. I’m in a good spot.”