Topic: Paul Bako

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Gabor Paul Bako II (pronounced /ˈbɑːkoʊ/; born June 20, 1972) is a catcher in Major League Baseball for the Philadelphia Phillies. Bako is an example of a baseball "journeyman", having played for 11 different major league teams during his 12-year career. He is officially listed at 6 feet 3 inches (1.91 m) and 210 pounds (95 kg).

Bako attended high school and college in his home state of Louisiana, winning two conference championships at the University of Southwest Louisiana. After reaching the majors with the American League's Detroit Tigers in 1998, Bako spent seven seasons in the National League, playing with six different teams. He returned to the American League with the Baltimore Orioles and the Kansas City Royals, then played for the Cincinnati Reds for one season before his current tenure with the Phillies.

In 1990, Bako was drafted out of Lafayette High School—who later retired his number 6—with the ninth pick of the sixth round by the Cleveland Indians. He chose not to sign, and attended the University of Southwest Louisiana. In his college career, Bako caught for the Ragin' Cajuns during two consecutive conference championship seasons: 1991 in the American South Conference, when they finished with a 49–20 record, 14th-best among Division I squads; and 1992 in the Sun Belt Conference, when Southwestern Louisiana's pitching staff amassed a 3.50 earned run average, 29th-best in Division I. In 1993, he was named to the second team of the all-Sun Belt Conference baseball team, and was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the fifth round of the 1993 June draft.

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