|Title:||Class of 2013|
Back in the 1970s, New England college baseball was a pitcher’s game and Shrewsbury native Paul Josephson gave the Engineers a bonafide ace.
The right hander played for the Crimson and Gray all four of his years at WPI. As a junior, he registered complete games in all seven of his starts. He posted a 3-4 record with a 2.52 ERA and collected 47 strikeouts in 60 2/3 innings.
Josephson was a team captain his senior season. He continued to be a workhorse, notching four complete games, including a shutout, in his eight starts. The Engineers offense struggled but Josephson kept them in every game, posting a 2.77 ERA.
After graduating from WPI with a degree in civil engineering, he couldn’t shake the baseball bug and, thanks to former major leaguer Larry Bearnarth, he was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 10th round (197th overall) of the 1978 winter draft.
“When Paul was on the mound, WPI could compete with any team in New England,” commented teammate Tom McBride. “The fact that he was drafted and was playing professional baseball really went a long way to legitimize our program and make us all proud.”
He spent four years in the Expos system, making stops with the Jamestown Expos of the New York-Penn League and the West Palm Beach Expos of the Florida State League, where Josephson was voted pitcher of the month in August of 1980. He was rewarded with a promotion to the Memphis Chicks of the AA Southern League.
The next year during spring training, Josephson’s contract was acquired by the Detroit Tigers organization where he played with the Lakeland Tigers and the Double AA Birmingham Barons. The following season he was with the Oakland Athletics organization and won a league championship with the Modesto A’s, where he led the team with the most saves and a 1.97 ERA.
The next year he was back in New England and compiled a 6-0 record with the Albany A’s of the Double AA Eastern League. Josephson closed out his professional career with the Durham Bulls, where he played a game for then-Atlanta Braves manager Joe Torre, in front of a crowd of 24,000.
“What comes to mind what I think of Paul is his determination to succeed,” says teammate Don Maki. “He craftily hit his spots consistently with his heavy fastball and a curve. Not only did opponents notice his skills, so did the Montreal Expos, who drafted him. I had professional aspirations like Paul so I considered him a role model, an engineer who could meet the rigorous academic requirements at WPI and eventually play baseball professionally.”
At the young age of 28, Josephson decided to put his WPI degree to use. He currently operates his own civil engineering and land surveying business as a licensed Professional Engineer. Paul has been married for 23 years to his wife, Theresa. The couple have two sons, Matthew, 16, and David, 10, both of whom excel at hockey.
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