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Japan vs USA in bronze medal baseball game in Beijing
USA's Matt Laporta points to the sky after hitting a homerun against Japan to even the score at 1-1 in 2nd inning action at Wukesong Baseball Field, August 23, 2008, at the Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. Japan lost an early lead and the USA team came back to win, 8-4, and the bronze medal. The Olympics is dropping baseball as an official sport, first started at the 1984 Olympics. (UPI Photo/Mike Theiler)
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Matthew Vincent LaPorta (born January 8, 1985) is an American professional baseball first baseman and left fielder with the Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball. He was drafted 7th overall in the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft out of the University of Florida by the Milwaukee Brewers.

LaPorta was born in Port Charlotte, Florida. He attended Charlotte High School after transferring from Port Charlotte High. He played fullback on his freshman football team for the PCHS Pirates.

LaPorta was originally drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 14th round of the 2003 MLB Draft, but instead accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Pat McMahon's Florida Gators baseball team from 2004 to 2007. He led NCAA Division I baseball with 26 home runs, which garnered LaPorta All-American honors as he helped lead the team to the 2005 College World Series final. In 2006, his batting average dipped from .328 to .259. In June, LaPorta was drafted in the fourteenth round of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft by the Boston Red Sox, but he chose to stay at Florida for his senior year; during that season, he earned his second All-American selection. LaPorta batted .402 with twenty home runs his senior season with the Gators. Also, LaPorta was recognized as the SEC Player of the Year. He graduated from Florida with a bachelor's degree in health and human performance in 2009.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Matt LaPorta."
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