THE FLATS – Georgia Tech athletics announced today that the “Friends of Jim Poole” have established an endowed scholarship in honor of former Yellow Jacket standout and Major League Baseball relief pitcher Jim Poole, who was diagnosed last year with ALS.
The “Friends of Jim Poole” – comprised of friends in both the business and Georgia Tech worlds – created the endowment to recognize him and how his legacy will continue to have an impact on Georgia Tech student-athletes in the baseball program, teaching them self-reliance and how to apply their lessons learned on the baseball field to the rest of their life.
Poole arrived on The Flats in 1985 and had an immediate impact, as Georgia Tech baseball would win the first of four-straight ACC Tournament Championships. During his four years, he pitched in 120 games and struck out 263 batters in 188 innings. He still ranks first in the Tech record book with 22 career saves, including 10 as a junior and nine as a senior. He was named all-ACC his last two seasons. Poole would be enshrined into the Georgia Tech Sports Hall of Fame just nine years later in 1997.
A stellar worker in the classroom, Poole elected not to turn professional after being selected in the 34th round of the 1987 MLB Draft by the LA Dodgers, and returned to Georgia Tech for his senior year, recording a 2.03 ERA and 113 strikeouts in only 71 innings. Once again, the LA Dodgers would call his name in the 1988 MLB Draft, this time taking him in the ninth round. He would return to graduate from the Institute with a degree in electrical engineering in 1990.
Poole played 11 years in the major leagues, predominantly with the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, and San Francisco Giants. In 431 games played, he finished with 22 victories and a 4.31 ERA, as well as 256 strikeouts and four saves. He helped pitch Cleveland to two American League Championship Series (1995, 1998), making it to the 1995 World Series where he would face the Atlanta Braves.
Following his retirement at the end of the 2000 season, Poole returned to Georgia Tech to join the Alexander-Tharpe Fund as a fundraiser and supporter of the baseball program. He then began serving as the pitching coach at Johns Creek High School in 2010, teaching many young men about pitching mechanics, while also conveying his personal pitching philosophy.
He later joined the business world as a Personal Wealth Advisor for Buckhead Investment Partners, LLC and now manages the Baseball Division for BIP Wealth.
Every 90 minutes, someone is diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, with an estimated 30,000 people living with ALS in the United States at any given time. Primarily affecting people between the ages of 40 and 70, ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. There is no known cure.
For more information about ALS, visit www.ALS.org.
STATEMENTS FROM GEORGIA TECH ATHLETICS
Former Georgia Tech and Major League Baseball pitcher Jim Poole:
“I am honored and humbled by the creation of the Jim Poole Scholarship for Georgia Tech Baseball. The entirety of my time on campus as a student-athlete shaped me like no other period of my life. My many failures made me stronger. My successes were earned and empowering. Coaches and professors demanded my best, teammates and classmates kept me accountable, alumni offered wisdom and counsel, and my friends (most especially my wife Kim) helped create memories that never fail to generate smiles and heartfelt laughter.
“Georgia Tech is an institution like no other. It is my hope that this scholarship helps young men as they strive to achieve their dreams in the classroom and on the field, all the while knowing they have the support of those who took the journey before them.”
Georgia Tech head baseball coach Danny Hall:
“Jim Poole is a Tech Man through and through. He was barely recruited out of high school but came to Tech to compete at the highest level and compete he did. He established himself at the top of the pitching leaderboard and earned an engineering degree. From Tech, he went on to an illustrious career in the Major Leagues. Since his playing days, he has established himself as an elite financial advisor in the business world.
“He has been around our program a bunch, serving as a mentor to our team. Like his careers in baseball and business, Jim is approaching his journey with ALS with an All-American attitude. This endowed scholarship will further cement his legacy at Georgia Tech.”
The Alexander-Tharpe Fund is the fundraising arm of Georgia Tech athletics, providing scholarship, operations and facilities support for Georgia Tech’s 400-plus student-athletes. Be a part of developing Georgia Tech’s Everyday Champions and helping the Yellow Jackets compete for championships at the highest levels of college athletics by supporting the Annual Athletic Scholarship Fund, which directly provides scholarships for Georgia Tech student-athletes. To learn more about supporting the Yellow Jackets, visit atfund.org.