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Quote:FSU's Wardell Doesn't Let Worry Get In The Way
Published: May 9, 2005
<a href='http://tampatrib.com/sportsnews/MGBY7TV0I8E.html' target='_blank'>http://tampatrib.com/sportsnews/MGBY7TV0I8E.html</a>

GAINESVILLE - If Florida State first baseman Danny Wardell doesn't get
drafted by a major- league team this summer, he probably should ask football coach Bobby Bowden whether he needs another safety.

Last week against Florida, the former Zephyrhills High star got blasted trying to tag Gators outfielder Gavin Dickey - better known as backup Gators quarterback Gavin Dickey. Wardell held onto the ball for the out, dusted himself off and jogged to the dugout as Florida fans jeered him.

Then he blasted a home run off the right-field scoreboard.

After the Seminoles' 9-4 win, Wardell mulled the question of a future in football after his first experience bringing down a Division I

"That was a pretty good shot. Wasn't it?'' he said.

But the senior isn't worried about his employment prospects. He isn't worried about playing time. He isn't worried about his batting average.&nbsp; In fact, he isn't worried about much of anything.

That's his secret.

Wardell, who played one year at Pasco-Hernando Community College, is enjoying a one-month hitting binge that has included his first collegiate grand slam (against Miami on April 24), a regular starting job at first base and hits in 11 of his past 12 games.

"I just feel really comfortable. There are no cares,'' Wardell said.&nbsp; "I'm just out there playing my game.''

Wardell believes his production increased when he stopped worrying.&nbsp; After all, he's living his childhood fantasy every day.

"It's my dream come true. It's what I've always wanted to do,'' Wardell said. "I've got my degree from Florida State. It's my senior year. I'm playing well. There's nothing more I can ask for.''

His degree, in environmental studies, will help him land a job with the state of Florida protecting coastal areas. Wardell dreams of a career where his workplace is the water. In his spare time, he can feed his fishing addiction.

In fact, one of Wardell's favorite fringe benefits of playing in Tallahassee has been the chance to explore the Panhandle. His greatest triumph with a rod and reel came last summer near Pensacola, when he landed a king mackerel.

This summer, he hopes some team reels him in during the draft, but Wardell won't shed any tears if that doesn't happen. He's got his diploma, and the coast beckons.

"There's worse things in life [than not being drafted],'' Wardell said. "If something didn't turn out the way I wanted it, I can always move on. There's always more.''
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