Heath De Fount-Haberlin: Baseball Biography


Heath De Fount-Haberlin in the Marin County Athletic Hall of Fame:

Heath De Fount-Haberlin was inducted to the Marin County Athletic Hall of Fame on November 2, 2013 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in San Rafael, California becoming the first athlete of Azorean-Portuguese decent ever to be inducted into the HOF. After 31 years, Heath still holds four of the all-time Tamalpais High School baseball records for: batting average: .519, hits: 27, runs scored: 22 and stolen bases: 25. De Fount-Haberlin also holds the all-time Tamalpais High School record for the most home runs (overall) during a season (6) in 1988. Heath was the first athlete to play varsity baseball all four years since 1960. Heath was All-League MCAL all four years as well at Tam High. Heath continued to play baseball at College of Marin (as a music major) and Division 1 college baseball at UC Berkeley for the Cal Bears (as a music major) and later, received a Division 1 college baseball scholarship at the University of San Francisco playing for the Dons. For more information, go to the following Marin IJ articles, "De Fount-Haberlin put up big numbers during his baseball days at Tam and College of Marin" and "Heath De Fount-Haberlin, athletic hall of fame bio."


Heath De Fount-Haberlin's Baseball Biography: It's in the De Fount Family Blood:

Heath De Fount-Haberlin is the son of Dave Haberlin who was the Assistant Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department. Heath has been described by his father's peers in the San Francisco Fire Department, who watched Heath play many times at University of San Francisco, as "one hell of a baseball player!"

November 2, 2013: Happy Father's Day Pops! I gave my father, Dave Haberlin, an early Father's Day present yesterday by telling him that I will be inducted into the Marin County Athletic Hall of Fame for my baseball playing days at Tamalpais High School on November 2, 2013. My dad, Dave Haberlin, came to about every single baseball game I ever played in from Little League to Division 1 college baseball (1979-1993). Not to mention the countless, thousands of hours my dad, Dave Haberlin, spent with me playing catch, throwing batting practice, shagging fly balls and taking me to San Francisco Giants baseball games at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. Pops, I would have never gotten as far as I did in baseball if it wasn't for you. Thanks Pop and I love you!

Heath De Fount-Haberlin comes from a family of Azorean Portuguese-American baseball players. Heath De Fount-Haberlin is one of the few if not the only Azorean Portuguese-American baseball player ever to be nominated for and inducted into the Marin County Athletic Hall of Fame. Heath was nominated by KNBR's Brian Murphy of "Mac & Murph" fame. Brian Murphy is a San Francisco Giants' radio and television personality. He has also written two books on the San Francisco Giants. Heath and Brian played Babe Ruth baseball together for the Mill Valley Braves and high school baseball together on the Tamalpais Indians in Southern Marin County during the 1980's.

Heath's great grandfather was Irl Joseph De Fount who was an Azorean Portuguese-American professional baseball player in the Bay Area just after the turn of the century. Irl also attended UC Berkeley, just after the turn of the century, like Heath did later in 1990. Irl Joseph De Fount played baseball his entire life. Irl Joseph De Fount played professional baseball for the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast Athletic League. Later, he was also a player/coach on a semi-pro night baseball league team during the 1930's and 1940's in Baldwin Park, California. He was a catcher. He also coached a woman's baseball league in in Baldwin Park, California as well. Irl had a brain aneurysm in his left frontal lobe on the baseball field during a game while he was coaching a woman's baseball league game in in Baldwin Park, California and passed away the next day at a hospital in Azusa, California, on July 2, 1940. His brain aneurysm in the left side of his temple was probably a direct result from a brain injury or trauma from the many right handed blows he received to the head during his days as a professional boxer in both San Francisco, California and in Los Angeles, California.

Heath's Azorean Portuguese-American great grandfather, Irl Joseph De Fount, played catcher for San Francisco Baby Seals in California State League in 1910 when he was 18 years old and later for the San Francisco Seals in the Pacific Coast Athletic League as well. The San Francisco Baby Seals were a “feeder” Class “B” minor league team for it’s parent club the San Francisco Seals.

Heath recently received a rare, historic photograph of his great grandfather Irl Joseph De Fount in Golden Gate Park playing for the San Francisco Seals in 1910, during a season in which Irl hit .331, from a De Fount family relative in Los Angeles, California.

Irl Joseph De Fount was also both an amateur and professional boxer in both San Francisco and in Los Angeles, California. He twice fought at Madison Square Garden (not the one in New York but when there was one located in Los Angeles) in the early 1922. He was known as the “Battling De Fount” in boxing circles at the time.

Irl Joseph De Fount's son Eugene Aloysius De Fount, Heath's grandfather, was also an Azorean Portuguese-American semi-professional baseball player during the 1930's for the White House Department Store in downtown San Francisco, California.


Heath De Fount-Haberlin's Baseball Biography:

From Little League to high school to college, Heath De Fount-Haberlin rewrote Marin County's record books in the 1980's and early 1990's. In Tamalpais High School's 110 years (1907–2018) it is Heath who after 31 years still holds every significant offensive baseball record to this very day. Not even one of Tam High's other great baseball players ever-the late, great Sam Chapman, known as "the Tiburon Terror" (Tamalpais High School (Class of 1934), California Golden Bears, Philadelphia Athletics and Cleveland Indians), can hold that distinction.


Mill Valley Little League (1979-1982):

Heath set the Mill Valley Little League's all-time home run record with 12 and went on to hit 14 overall in that season.

Led Mill Valley Tigers to their first Marin County title ever in 1982.

 

Babe Ruth (1983-1985):

From there he went on to Babe Ruth Baseball League where he was selected to the All-Star team in each of his three years.

Heath De Fount-Haberlin played for the Mill Valley Braves. He was a shortstop, pitcher and an outfielder.

After playing every inning of every varsity game as a freshman shortstop and pitcher, Heath had to then go back to playing Babe Ruth baseball with 13 to 15 year olds once again after his freshman varsity campaign. A true man amongst boys.

In his final year in Babe Ruth, Haberlin was also the starting shortstop on the varsity baseball team as a freshman. Upon completion of this year, he will be the the first four-year varsity starter since 1960.


Tamalpais High School Indians (1985-1988):

Heath was a 3 sport athlete in baseball, football and soccer as well as training with the track team during baseball season.

In 1985, Heath hit .250 (.338 overall) with 23 hits and a home run (against the San Marin Mustangs) during his freshman season. Heath played every inning of every game as the starting varsity shortstop and as a pitcher (1-0).  He was named Honorable Mention in the MCAL All-League awards.

In 1985, as a varsity freshman, Heath De Fount-Haberlin, played against future San Francisco Mayor, Lt. Governor and Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, who played first base for rival Redwood High School Giants baseball team in Larkspur, California. Newsom was also a star forward on the Redwood High School Giants basketball team as well. Newsom was friends and teammates with Heath's friend and former teammate Fritter Chase. Years later, in 2008, Heath and Gavin were reunited (talking, laughing and telling old stories) at an event for the Boston Properties lighting ceremony in Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco, California.

In 1986, Heath hit .333 during his his sophomore season. Heath's season ended when he broke his right thumb (ligaments tore the bone off of the bone) in a pickup basketball game. He was named Honorable Mention in the MCAL All-League awards. The Tamalpais Indians made it to the MCAL playoffs in 1986. Heat had to watch, injured in a hand cast, from the bench at Albert's Field in San Rafael, California.

Heath was playing semi-pro baseball at age 16 with Dante Benedetti's New Pisa Semi-Pro Baseball Team in San Francisco, California. The University of San Francisco's current baseball field is named "Benedetti Diamond" after the late, great North Beach baseball patriarch Dante Benedetti who was childhood friend of Joe Dimaggio's. The team's home games were played at Big Rec Field in Golden Gate Park. Big Rec Field is where San Francisco baseball icon Joe DiMaggio played his semi-pro baseball games as well before he went on to play for the San Francisco Seals minor league baseball team in the 1930's. Heath was so young as a semi-professional baseball player the his father, Dave Haberlin, had to chaperone him on baseball road trips up and down the west coast of California. 

In 1987, as a junior, Heath had the kind of season that has never been duplicated in the long 110 year history of Tamalpais High School and in the history of the Marin County Athletic League.

A 1987 article in The Tamalpais News about Heath De Fount-Haberlin states," He (Heath) could easily be called Tam varsity baseball's most prolific hitter ever with school records for single season average (.519), hits (27), stolen bases (25) and runs scored (22)." One of Tam High's other great baseball players ever the late, great "Tiburon Terror" Sam Chapman (Philadelphia Athletics, Cleveland Indians) can't even hold that claim.

Heath was Tam High's first 4 year varsity starter since 1960. After playing every inning of every varsity game as a freshman shortstop and pitcher, Heath had to then go back to playing Babe Ruth baseball with 13 to 15 year olds once again after his freshman varsity campaign. A true man amongst boys.

Heath was All-MCAL all four years. Heath was twice unanimously 1st Team All-MCAL his junior and senior seasons.

In 1987, Heath De Fount-Haberlin "hit the ground running " for his entire record setting season. In 1987, Heath broke and set four all-time Tam High offensive records including: Average: .519, Hits: 27, Runs: 22 and Stolen Bases: 25. Heath's records have stood for more than 31 years. Heath's .519 average also led the MCAL in 1987.

Heath was playing semi-pro baseball at age 17 with Ellis Brooks semi-pro baseball team in San Francisco, California.

Athlete of the Issue: Heath Haberlin by Jeannette Bitz

Page 6, Tamalpais News, April 15, 1988

He could easily be called Tam varsity baseball's most prolific bitter ever with the school records for single season average (.519), hits (27), stolen bases (25) and runs scored (22), but Heath Haberlin stresses that his life is not all about baseball.

He finds time to pursue other such interests as playing the guitar and piano, drawing, painting and photography. A music studio at home allows Heath to practice playing the guitar which he plans to play in the senior talent show.

The varsity baseball team's right fielder began playing the game at when he was eight years old. It was in Mill Valley Little league that he began to realize his natural talent for baseball. "It was a God given gift," Haberlin explains.

At the age of 12 he set the single season record for most home runs, crushing 12. From there he went on to Babe Ruth Baseball League where he was selected to the All-Star team in each of his three years.

In his final year in Babe Ruth Haberlin was also the starting shortstop on the varsity baseball team as a freshman. Upon completion of this year, he will be the the first four-year varsity starter since 1960.

This year Haberlin's most important goal is for the team to make the playoffs. "There is no reason why we shouldn't go this year. We have some strong players," he said. He also hopes to break the school's home run mark of three.

At 5'10" and 175 pounds and a swing as pure as gold in Fort Knox Haberlin poses a threat to any pitcher. When a spectator saw him warming up in the on deck circle with two bats he went so far to say, "You know, I bet Heath could hit with two bats."

What comes next for Heath Haberlin? Probably a college baseball career at Arizona State where he was recently accepted, possibly a professional career depending on his college career, and definitely a play-off berth for the Indians.

"Haberlin's Pole": The bright, yellow left field foul pole that now stands at Tamalpais High Schools' varsity baseball diamond is known as "Haberlin's Pole" or as "Habbie's Pole " because of an incident involving an umpire's errant call during an MCAL baseball game vs. Redwood High School in which the disputed call cost Heath De Fount-Haberlin the all time record for most home runs during a season. Cory Shakarian the Redwood High School Giant's and future Marin Athletic Hall of Fame pitcher hung a curveball to De Fount-Haberlin and he took full advantage driving a long, towering 425 foot 3-run home run down the left field line that cleared all four lanes of the highway and landed in the condominiums across the street. The long drive put the Tamalpais Indians in the lead 5-3. The curving home run was a fair ball as it carried over the outfield fence and then curved around the nonexistent foul pole and was called foul by the home plate umpire. Tam's manager ran onto the field and was up in arms. Tam's home crowd was booing the umpire as well. The rest of the game was played under protest and the protest was filed with the MCAL. There was a lengthy article about the game and the controversy in the Marin IJ the next day. A bright, yellow left field foul pole was hazily erected at Tamalpais High Schools' varsity baseball diamond the next day and has been known as "Haberlin's Pole" or as "Habbie's Pole" ever since.

Marin Independent Journal: Heath David De Fount-Haberlin: 1988 All MCAL Baseball 

Heath Haberlin, Tamalpais outfielder: Haberlin, a senior, was on the all-league team four straight years. He batted .367 with 13 runs, 18 hits, 10 RBIs and nine stolen bases. He hit two home runs, a triple and two doubles in league play and had a total of six home runs. He is a line-drive hitter with power and speed.

Heath De Fount-Haberlin holds the all-time Tamalpais High School record for the most home runs (overall) during a season (6) in 1988.

In 1988, Heath hit .367 with 13 runs, 18 hits, 10 RBI's and 9 stolen bases during his his senior season. Heath had a overall total of 6 home runs despite being intentionally walked and pitched around all season long a la Barry Bonds. Heath was described in the Marin IJ All-MCAL article as," a line-drive hitter with power and speed." Heath led the Tamalpais Indians to a 17-10 record and to Tam's first MCAL championship game since 1966. Tam lost to San Marin 10-2 in the MCAL championship game.

Heath received several MLB offers from the Twins and Dodgers. Heath was offered a verbal $70,000 MLB free agent offer by a scout for the Minnesota Twins out of high school. Heath also tried out for the Philadelphia Phillies.

Heath was heavily recruited by colleges in high school and received multiple collegiate baseball scholarship offers from around the country from such colleges as University of Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford, UC Berkeley, USF, UC Davis, UC Riverside, St. Mary's, Loyola Marymount, Long Beach State, San Jose State and Chapman College.

Heath was just weeks away from attending college at Arizona State before he was persuaded by College of Marin head baseball coach Al Endriss to attend school at College of Marin and play baseball for College of Marin Mariners. Legendary coach Al Endriss' main reasoning was that Heath had a better chance of being drafted in the MLB Draft in his first 2 years at College of Marin then at a 4 year college from which a college baseball player could only be drafted after his senior season campaign at the time.


College of Marin Mariners (1989-1990):

Heath was persuaded by legendary College of Marin head coach Al Endriss to play at College of Marin because a player could be drafted by MLB in his first two years at a junior college but not at a four year University.

In 1989, Heath hit .387 with 34 RBI with a team leading 60 hits, 44 runs and 20 stolen bases. He was also a 1.000% fielder as well. Heath put up these numbers despite suffering a dislocated left shoulder early in the 1989 season, while diving for a ball in left field, tying to impress MLB scouts attending a College of Marin baseball game in Kentfield, California.

In 1989, Heath De Fount-Haberlin put up these numbers despite playing with a separated left shoulder for almost the entire 1989 campaign/season. Instead of head first sliding he had to slide the more traditional way the entire season.

Heath lead College of Marin to a BVC Championship and to a 6th place finish in northern California in 1989.

Heath was voted unanimous All-BVC First Team in both 1989.

In 1990, Heath hit .406 with a team leading 56 hits, 41 runs, 33 RBI, 10 doubles and 30 stolen bases.

Early in the 1990 season, during a game at COM, Heath De Fount-Haberlin was beamed in the face and suffered a broken nose. He stayed in the game and when he got to first he was so pissed that he stole both second and third on the next consecutive pitches.

Heath stole a record 5 bases with a home run in one single game in 1990.

Heath was named College of Marin's Most Valuable Player in 1990.

Heath was voted unanimous All-BVC First Team in 1990.
 

College of Marin Mariners: Career Highlights and School Records (1989-1990):

Heath was voted unanimous All-BVC First Team in both 1989 and in 1990.

Heath was a career .396 hitter at College of Marin.

Heath broke and set four all-time College of Marin offensive records including: Hits (career): 116, Stolen Bases (season): 30, Stolen Bases (career): 50 and Stolen Bases in a Game (5). Heath's records stood for more than 15 (hits record) and 12 years (both stolen base records) respectively. De Fount-Haberlin still holds the all-time COM record for most stolen bases in a single game (5).

Heath's records were broken by College of Marin's Nick Nosti with 81 hits in 2006 and hits (Career) with 122 in 2005-6.

Heath's records were broken by College of Marin's Terrence Taylor with 45 stolen bases in 2002 and stolen bases (Career) with 72 in 2001-2.

Heath attained 3.7 GPA and made the Honors List at College of Marin.

Heath graduated with a AA Degree in music from College of Marin in 1990.


Semi-Pro Baseball and the MLB Draft:

Heath also played semi-professional baseball on both Dante Benedetti's New Pisa semi-pro baseball team at age 16 in 1986 and on Ellis and Brooks semi-pro baseball team at age 17 in 1987. Heath traveled extensively up and down the state of California. He experienced professional baseball's life on the road-staying at cheap hotels and living out of suitcases during the summer months.

Heath played three years (1988 through 1990) of semi-pro baseball with the Novato Knicks. While playing for the Novato Knick's, Heath played against former A's pitcher Mike Norris, who was a childhood idol of Heath's and was also an exclusive member of the "Black Aces" (A group of African-American pitchers who won 20 games in a season for the Oakland A's). After his retirement from Major League Baseball, Mike Norris was playing for the semi-pro team the Oakland Oaks. Heath singled off of Norris in a game at San Marin High School field.

In 1989, while playing Semi-Pro Baseball with the Novato Knicks Heath recalls driving five hours from Marin County, California up to Humbolt County, California to play the Humbolt Crabs in a double header. He suffered a right knee injury during the late innings of the second game diving for a line drive and landing wrong. With ice on his knee he drove back to Marin driving another five hours and almost falling asleep at the wheel. He remembers slapping himself in the face and opening the window a lot to keep awake on the drive back.

In May of 1989, Heath was named one of the top Bay Area Draft picks of the 1989 MLB Draft by the San Francisco Chronicle. The article was entitled,"The Baseball Draft-Few local prospects to go in the early rounds-Bay Area's Top Draftees-Who's who among Bay Area players who figure to draw attention in the June free-agent baseball draft-Sleepers and question marks-San Francisco Chronicle article quote, "Heath (De Fount-) Haberlin, outfielder, College of Marin (green but has the tools)."

Heath had several MLB tryouts with the Los Angeles Dodgers that year. During a MLB tryout with the late, longtime Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers scout Dick Murray, Heath ran a 4.5 40-yard dash. Heath was told by College of Marin coach Al Endriss and Los Angeles Dodger organization to sit and wait by the phone on draft day because he was to be drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers that year-it never came to fruition. Every player mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle MLB Draft article was drafted by MLB that year except for Heath.

While attending College of Marin, Heath trained with San Francisco Giant Max Venable and MLB catcher/San Rafael High grad/Marin Athletic Hall of Fame member Jerry Goff who played for the Montreal Expos, Pittsburgh Pirates and the Houston Astros.


University of California at Berkeley Golden Bears (Fall of 1990):

What percent of athletes play Division 1? Overall a little over 7% of high school athletes (about 1 in 14) went on to play a varsity sport in college and less than 2% of high school athletes (1 in 54) went on to play at NCAA Division I schools. The largest percentage of both male and female college athletes competed at NCAA Division III schools. Heath De Fount-Haberlin did it twice playing baseball for two different Division 1 universities: For both the UC Berkeley Bears and the USF Dons.

Heath attained 3.7 GPA, made the Honors Roll again at College of Marin and completed a brutal summer school schedule (English 151 and Statistics) before transferring to UC Berkeley in the Fall of 1990.

Heath trained with former Cal Alum (Cleveland Indian/San Francisco Giant/Los Angeles Dodger) Jeff Kent who is considered by many as one of the 200 greatest players in MLB history and he should go into the Hall of Fame. He was the greatest San Francisco Giants second baseman ever.

Heath was a rare starting walk-on outfielder who hit .360 and started every game in right and center field in the "Fall Ball" baseball season for UC Berkeley Bears.

Heath was a music major while attending Cal which was at the time seen as a little bit odd by players and coaches. It also led to an on-field confrontation with a Cal coach. One day while running late to a baseball practice from a piano class (on the other side of campus) Heath was confronted by a Cal assistant baseball coach who stated, "Do you want to be a pussy musician or a manly ball player?" I thought to myself, "I go to school to study music, right?" Heath went on to a career as a professional musician and music teacher.

As previously mentioned, Heath had a a 3.7 GPA from College of Marin and was an Honor Roll student while at College of Marin. Heath was a rare walk-on starter at UC Berkeley and hit .360 in "Fall Ball" at UC Berkeley before getting kicked out, in the last week of the fall semester, for missing a lone single 3 unit Spanish class that UC Berkeley failed to recognize or correct until six months later into the fall semester. It was the universities mistake for overlooking the Spanish class but it was Heath who had to pay the price for it-dearly. He was informed on the Cal baseball field, in full uniform, by Coach Milano that he has ten days to have the class completed which was impossible to do for a semester class. The Golden Bears went on to the College World Series that year without Heath as he sat distraught watching the games on ESPN television at home. There should have been a lawsuit against UC Berkeley but Heath was just a 19 year-old kid who was shell-shocked by his dream being broken right in front of his eyes. It was devastating to say the least. To add insult to injury, the onslaught of major national media exposure surrounding the College World Series led to a number of Cal Bear players to be drafted and signed by MLB that year.

Heath's teammate Matt Luke went on to play in the outfield for the Los Angeles Dodgers.


Coached at College of Marin (Spring of 1990-Winter of 1991):

Heath went back to College of Marin. Heath helped coach the College of Marin baseball team and trained on his own at College of Marin to stay in baseball shape.

Heath coached both Roger Sweeney (San Rafael High graduate and 2009 MCAL Hall of Fame inductee) and Bret Kim to become MLB Draft choices by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1991.

Heath coached former Tam High standout CJ Martin at College of Marin who went on to play with Heath at University of San Francisco and then on to be signed to a professional Canadian independent league contract in 1993.

Heath landed a Division 1 baseball scholarship at the University of San Francisco after being out of college baseball for a year.


University of San Francisco Dons (1992-1993):

What percent of athletes play Division 1? Overall a little over 7% of high school athletes (about 1 in 14) went on to play a varsity sport in college and less than 2% of high school athletes (1 in 54) went on to play at NCAA Division I schools. The largest percentage of both male and female college athletes competed at NCAA Division III schools. Heath De Fount-Haberlin did it twice playing baseball for two different Division 1 universities: For both the UC Berkeley Bears and the USF Dons.

Heath received a baseball scholarship to University of San Francisco for both the 1992 and 1993 seasons.

Heath attained 3.7 GPA again and made the Honors List again at College of Marin before he transferred to University of San Francisco in the Spring of 1992.

Heath was an Honor Roll Student-Athlete three times while attending University of San Francisco.

University of San Francisco head coach Ken Bowman's 1992 University of San Francisco media guide quote, "(De Fount-) Haberlin is an exceptionally well-rounded player who can run, hit, throw and simply play very smart baseball."

Heath suffered torn right ankle ligaments while playing basketball in the off-season a week before the start of the WAC Season for University of San Francisco. In fear of losing his baseball scholarship, Heath soldiered on through the season re-injuring the ankle 30 plus times during the very wet, rainy college baseball season of 1992. It was taped daily for the entire season. Heath hit a disappointing .183 which was his all-time low batting average in his baseball career. "I learned a lot about myself that season and about others (who your real friends are) when adversity comes," Heath stated.

Heath's baseball redemption at University of San Francisco came in the form of a comeback in 1993 to his previous glory days in hitting .295 (third in batting average on the University of San Francisco team) his senior season after leading both the WAC and the University of San Francisco Dons in average for most of the 1993 season. Heath started in every game for University of San Francisco in centerfield and in right field as well until a season (and career ending) hand injury from a beaning.

Heath broke both of his hands (boxer breaks-fifth metacarpals) in two separate beanings during the last weeks of his senior campaign. Heath was beaned on his right hand during a game against Loyola Marymount that was erroneously reported as being broken and was put in a cast but later re-X-rayed and found to be a minor hairline fracture. Heath was able to play through the pain, his hand swollen and black and blue, until his next injury a few weeks later. Heath's career ending injury was shattering his left hand while protecting his face (he had previously broken his nose in a beaning incident at College of Marin in 1989) from a 92-mile per hour fastball during a game against Stanford and their star player, former San Francisco Giant, Jeffery Hammonds at Heath's home field "Benedetti Diamond" at University of San Francisco. It ended Heath's college baseball career and his baseball dream, a MLB tryout a few weeks later with the Florida Marlins for the 1993 MLB Draft.

Heath De Fount-Haberlin on October 26, 2017: Throw Back Thursday-How you know that you're getting old. World Series Edition.

Instead of baseball players that I played with or against during my playing days going on to be MLB players they are now MLB managers.

In May of 1993, during a Division 1 college baseball game between University of San Francisco and Stanford at USF, I was beamed during the last week of my senior season. My left hand was shattered by a 95 mile an hour pitch which effectively ended my baseball career (I was supposed to have a MLB tryout with "new" Florida Marlins expansion team for the upcoming June of 1993 MLB draft).

The Stanford catcher who was behind the plate (calling the up and in pitch) was none other than Houston Astros manager A. J. Hinch who is in the World Series managing against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

A. J. Hinch was drafted in 1996 in the 3rd round by the Oakland Athletics and signed by MLB scout Will Shock who also attended Tamalpais High School and pitched for Tamalpais Indians.

Heath's teammate Justin Spier went on to pitch for the Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and was the son of Chris Spier who was the San Francisco Giants shortstop in the late 1970's and early 1980's.

Heath graduated from University of San Francisco with a BA Degree in Sports Administration in 1995.

Heath De Fount-Haberlin is a professional musician (vocalist/guitarist), music teacher, author and chef who currently resides in both San Francisco, California and Tamalpais Valley, California.

For more information on Heath De Fount-Haberlin go to his website at heathhaberlin.com or view his concert performances and film appearances under "Heath De Fount-Haberlin" on YouTube.

 

Heath De Fount-Haberlin, athletic hall of fame bio

Marin Independent Journal

HEATH DE FOUNT-HABERLIN

Athlete / Tam

De Fount-Haberlin, 43, was a three-sport star at Tam High, playing baseball, football and soccer as well as training as a sprinter with the track team during baseball season.

De Fount-Haberlin's greatest athletic moments, however, came on the baseball field at both Tam and College of Marin. During his junior season in high school in 1987 — he was a four-year varsity baseball starter, the first at Tam since 1960 — De Fount-Haberlin batted .519 and stole 25 bases. He was chosen for the All-MCAL team all four years. His single-season school records which still stand at Tam include batting average (.519), hits (27), runs (22) and stolen bases (25). NOTE: Heath De Fount-Haberlin also holds the all-time Tamalpais High School record for the most home runs (overall) during a season (6) in 1988. He was nominated for the Marin Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame by former Tam classmate Brian Murphy of the "Murph and Mac" show on KNBR sports talk radio. "I was pretty excited and pretty humbled when I learned I was elected to the Marin Hall of Fame," De Fount-Haberlin said. "It's kind of strange, though "... my baseball career was like a half a lifetime ago."

De Fount-Haberlin, who lives in San Francisco, works as a professional musician and is currently working on his debut album "Ugly Truths & Beautiful Lies" with bassist Chris Chaney (Alanis Morissette, Jane's Addiction, Robben Ford) and drummer Gary Novak (Alanis Morissette, Robben Ford). The album is being recorded at Sonora Recorders in Los Angeles and at In The Pocket Studio in Forestville.

 

De Fount-Haberlin put up big numbers during his baseball days at Tam and College of Marin

By Tim Menicutch IJ correspondent

It's hard to believe Heath De Fount-Haberlin hasn't had a hit yet.

Of course, we're not talking about baseball. The former Tam High and College of Marin star had hits aplenty in his days on the diamond.

De Fount-Haberlin, however, has yet to hit one out of the park in his music career. But that could be changing soon for the San Francisco resident and professional musician, who is currently working on his debut album "Ugly Truths & Beautiful Lies."

But getting back to baseball, the hits just kept coming for the 1987 Tam grad, especially during his junior season when he batted .519, had 27 hits, scored 22 runs and stole 25 bases — all records which still stand at the school. De Fount-Haberlin also holds the all-time Tamalpais High School record for the most home runs (overall) during a season (6) in 1988.

"That season average of .519 is like beer softball league average," De Fount-Haberlin said. "That one year the MCAL added Richmond to the schedule and I went 10 for 10 in those two games."

Because of those numbers — and a baseball career overflowing with superlative stats — De Fount-Haberlin, 43, is one of seven athletes, two coaches and one special recognition honoree who are being inducted into the Marin Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame on Saturday at Embassy Suites in San Rafael.

Along with De Fount-Haberlin, the class of 2013 inductees include softball players Joey Spinali (San Marin '93) and Ali Viola (San Marin '93), multisport standouts John Marble (San Marin '82), Dan Kenilvort (Drake '81), Ronald Rosenhahn (Drake '52) and Cory Shakarian (Redwood '90). Coaches to be enshrined are Robert Corley (Terra Linda 1963-96) and Walt Louie (San Marin 1986-93), with longtime Terra Linda coach Hank Yamagata posthumously earning a special recognition award.

"Heath was a prodigy on the baseball diamond in Mill Valley," said Tam graduate Brian Murphy, a co-host for the "Murph and Mac" KNBR sports talk radio show, who nominated De Fount-Haberlin for the Hall of Fame. "His exploits were known as far back as Little League, and always came spoken with reverence by witnesses. I only got to play with him one year, as I was older, but he was a man amongst boys even then."

De Fount-Haberlin said it was ironic he received a phone call informing him of his induction into the Hall of Fame at the same time he was admiring an old photo of his great-grandfather, Irl Joseph De Fount, when he was a catcher for the San Francisco Seals in 1910.

"I was pretty excited and pretty humbled when I learned I was elected to the Marin Hall of Fame," De Fount-Haberlin said. "It's kind of strange, though "... my baseball career was like a half a lifetime ago."

Some of his finest moments on the baseball field came while playing for College of Marin and legendary coach Al Endriss, who persuaded him to play at COM because a player could be drafted in his first two years at a junior college but not at a four-year university.

In 1989, De Fount-Haberlin, who hit .387 with 34 RBIs, 60 hits, 44 runs and 20 stolen bases, led the Mariners to a Bay Valley Conference title and a sixth-place finish in Northern California.

His stellar season earned him several tryouts with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Longtime Dodgers scout Dick Murray clocked De Fount-Haberlin in 4.5 seconds for the 40-yard dash.

Heath was told by Endriss and the Dodgers' organization to wait by the phone on draft day that year. But he never got a call.

"The Dodgers were very interested and I had several tryouts with them," said De Fount-Haberlin, who was the first baseball player at Tam to play four years on the varsity in more than 28 years. "But they never called."

In his 1990 season at COM, his eye-popping numbers included a .406 batting average, 56 hits, 41 runs, 33 RBIs, 10 doubles and 30 stolen bases.

"He had a cool, calm way about his game," Murphy said. "He let his game speak for itself, and it was fun to watch."

In his final collegiate baseball game against Stanford — he accepted a full-ride scholarship to USF and played two seasons for the Dons — De Fount-Haberlin was hit by a 92 mph fastball from pitcher Jeffrey Hammonds, who went on to play for the San Francisco Giants. The pitch shattered his left hand and ended his baseball career a week before he was scheduled for a pre-draft tryout with the Florida Marlins.

De Fount-Haberlin's USF teammate Justin Speier went on to pitch for the Chicago Cubs, Florida Marlins, Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Toronto Blue Jays and the Los Angeles Angels.

De Fount-Haberlin said a friend of his let him use his San Francisco Giants' season tickets routinely and he attended dozens of Giants games after graduating from USF in 1995 with bachelor's degree in sports administration.

"It was kind of strange watching players who were not able to do some of the things I could do on the field playing major league baseball," he said. "I watched guys I used to play with like Matt Luke and Justin Speier, the catcher on my USF team, go on to the pros. I really regret never having the chance to play in a professional game."

De Fount-Haberlin hasn't had a hit in 20 years now. With his debut album, recorded with bassist Chris Chaney (Alanis Morissette, Jane's Addiction, Robben Ford) and drummer Gary Novak (Alanis Morissette, Robben Ford) due for release anytime now, let's just say De Fount-Haberlin is due.

 

The Marin Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame:

http://www.marinathleticfoundation.org/nov14hof

Established in 1988 by the Marin Athletic Foundation, the MAF Hall of Fame recognizes and honors athletes who have distinguished themselves in Marin County high school sports, on and off the field. It also gives recognition to coaches and other members of the athletic community who have made significant contributions to high school athletics in Marin County. The annual induction banquet is held each fall. 

In Tamalpais High School's 110 year history (which includes thousands of student-athletes) only 75 student-athletes have been honored by being inducted into the Marin Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame. Heath De Fount-Haberlin was the 69th inductee from Tamalpais High School into the Marin Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame.

Here is the complete list of Tamalpais High School's 75 student-athletes have been inducted into the Marin Athletic Foundation Hall of Fame since 1988:

 

Class of 2018:

Darrell Roary, Tamalpais 1988

 

Class of 2017:

John Henry Bennett, Tamalpais 1966

 

Class of 2016:

Robert Praszker, Tamalpais 1975

Will Schock, Tamalpais 1982

Delia Muelenkamp, Tamalpais 1951

 

CLASS OF 2015:

Jim Eskenberry, Tamalpais 1947

 

CLASS OF 2013:

Heath De Fount-Haberlin, Tamalpais HIgh 1988

 

CLASS OF 2012:

Don Whitney, Tamalpais 1952

 

CLASS OF 2011:

Alesia Sweeney, Tamalpais 1980

Bill Hillebrand, Tamalpais 1951

 

CLASS OF 2010:

Michael Patrick Fowler, Tamalpais 1968

LeRoy Rice, Tamalpais 1946

 

CLASS OF 2009: 

Michael Coffino, Tamalpais 1986

Bryan Price, Tamalpais 1980

 

CLASS OF 2008:

Kolya Hardy, Tamalpais 1986

 

CLASS OF 2007: 

Maggie Keyes, Tamalpais 1976

Sam Schwartz, Tamalpais 1986

 

CLASS OF 2006:

Bob Beedle, Tamalpais 1952

Art Foster, Tamalpais 1963

 

CLASS OF 2005:

Lori Allen Brady, Tamalpais 1974

Dwight C. Ely, Tamalpais, 1949

Michael James Lamb, Tamalpais 1975

 

CLASS OF 2004:

Dan Lucia, Tamalpais 1976

Simon Scott, Tamalpais 1936

 

CLASS OF 2002

Jack Parsons, Tamalpais, 1943

 

CLASS OF 2001:

Jim McDonald, Tamalpais 1950

Robert Washington, Tamalpais 1964

 

CLASS OF 2000:

Linda Broderick-Gill, Tamalpais 1976

Charles "Elmer" Collett, Tamalpais 1962

Fred Rodoni, Tamalpais 1965 

 

CLASS OF 1999:

Dave George, Tamalpais 1957

Milton Mancebo, Tamalpais 1940

 

CLASS OF 1998:

Michael Biber, Tamalpais 1967

Conrad Hoetger, Tamalpais 1961

Julie Lanzarin, Tamalpais 1976

Doug Pederson, Tamalpais 1939 

 

CLASS OF 1997:

Clifford Hall, Tamalpais 1972

Jack W. O'Connor, Tamalpais 1945

Donald C. Perry, Tamalpais 1920

 

CLASS OF 1996:

Donald Mackin, Tamalpais 1969

Ellis E. Williams, Tamalpais 1964 

 

CLASS OF 1995:

Leroy Barrow, Tamalpais 1968

Elton Davis, Tamalpais 1949

Will Garner, Tamalpais 1972

Bob Hector, Tamalpais 1960

 

CLASS OF 1994:

Honor Jackson, Tamalpais 1966

Dick Stone, Tamalpais 1947

 

CLASS OF 1993:

Pat Morgan, Tamalpais 1961

Arthur J. Quinn Sr., Tamalpais 1920

Jay Simon, Tamalpais 1946

Ralph Tierney, Tamalpais 1943

 

CLASS OF 1992:

Tim Farrell, Tamalpais 1959

Norman Kreuter, Tamalpais 1961

Alan Lee, Tamalpais 1968

 

CLASS OF 1991:

Charles Fisher, Tamalpais 1959

Jack Flagerman, Tamalpais 1939

Wally Laster, Tamalpais 1942

Steve Woodward, Tamalpais 1964

 

CLASS OF 1990:

Bill Adams, Tamalpais 1936

Warren D. Alexander, Tamalpais 1963

Rayfield Edwards, Tamalpais 1960

Frank Quinn, Tamalpais 1923

 

CLASS OF 1989:

Charles Crawford, Tamalpais 1945

Bob Fitzhenry, Tamalpais 1939

Bill Franchini, Tamalpais 1932

Matt Hazeltine, Tamalpais 1950

Bill McCurdy, Tamalpais 1932

Don Nance, Tamalpais 1951

Arthur Schallock, Tamalpais 1943

 

CLASS OF 1988:

Sam Chapman, Tamalpais 1933

Joe DeMaestri, Tamalpais 1942

Willie Hector, Tamalpais 1957

Arnold Nutting, Tamalpais 1933

Karl Olson, Tamalpais 1948

Glenn Robinson, Tamalpais 1950

Paul Valenti, Tamalpais 1938

Anchor Brewing and Their History With S.F. Baseball

© 2018 Heath De Fount-Haberlin/Ugly Truths & Beautiful Lies