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Mr. Jefferies Tatford
Graduated 2010

516 Alonda Drive
Lafayette, Louisiana 70503

C & C Technologies

Home Phone: 337-288-1248
Work Phone: --
Fax: --
Email: jltatford@yahoo.com

Spotlight on Former Athlete: Jefferies Tatford Baseball 2004-07

Tatford finally zeroed in on baseball

By Bruce Brown

Written for Athletic Network

Jefferies Tatford freely admits to having a competitive nature.

As one of four brothers in an athletic family, such a trait was almost inevitable – as a survival instinct, if nothing else.

“I was never inside before dark,” Tatford said of his childhood. “I enjoyed playing and doing things.

“I had a tough time growing up if I wasn’t good at something. I had an older brother (Regan) who got to experience things, and that instilled a drive in me to excel – even at age 2.

“That’s kind of particular to me among the brothers.”

Tatford recalled his insistence on being included in T-ball at the age of 4 because he didn’t want to miss out on all the fun, talking his way into a uniform and then showing quickly he had an aptitude for the game.

Baseball was eventually the sport he chose to focus on, but his youth also included football, basketball and swimming.

“I didn’t play football until middle school,” said Tatford, who played quarterback well enough at St. Thomas More to be offered college scholarships in both football and baseball.

“I was a pretty good basketball player. And, we were all competitive swimmers in the summer.”

It was natural for Regan, Jefferies, Byrnes and Evan to gravitate toward sports as the sons of Leander Tatford, a lineman for UL’s Ragin’ Cajuns from 1974-76 who often coached his sons.

“If we weren’t at our own event, we were watching our brothers play,” Jefferies Tatford said. “And, as a family, we always went to Cajun football games. Obviously, I attribute that to my dad.”

Jefferies learned quickly and adapted to each season.

“I like to think I have pretty good hand-eye coordination,” he said. “And I like to think I’m a hard worker.

“Coming out of high school, I had the opportunity to play both football and baseball. But, at the end of the day, I felt baseball was the better path and offered me a better opportunity to a pro career. That swayed my decision at the time.

“I loved football, loved playing it. But the lifespan is shorter in that sport.”

The versatile Tatford knew he would be facing top-tier college competition at UL, and would be well coached by Tony Robichaux and his staff, so he made the obvious choice to continue the family legacy and play for the Cajuns.

Tatford began to blossom in his sophomore year, starting 38 of 52 appearances in 2005, batting .336 and collecting 3 home runs and 32 runs batted in.

As a junior, he hit .336 again with 4 homers and 38 RBI while starting all 59 games UL played in 2006.

Then as a senior in 2007, Tatford hit .351 with 10 home runs and 46 RBI, starting every one of 62 games.

The Cajuns finished 34-23 in 2004, 48-19 with a Sun Belt regular season title and NCAA appearance in 2005, 39-20 in 2006 and 45-17 in 2007 for a combined 166-79 mark during Tatford’s time in the program.

A 46th-round draft pick by the Chicago Cubs out of high school in 2003, Tatford moved up to the 15th round in 2007 by the New York Mets. He spent two years in the minor leagues playing in Brooklyn and Savannah, finishing with a .226 batting average.

He retains distinct memories of both his college and pro experiences.

“We were OK when I was a freshman, but my sophomore year we had a really good team,” Tatford recalled. “Our senior class had a lot of leaders who would take the time to teach the younger guys.

“It’s easy not to care, but I had some great teammates who were older than me.”

While Tatford recalls some games, scores and moments, it is the relationships forged at UL that he treasures the most, including lessons learned under Robichaux.

“The stories you hear are true, of how he wants all his players to sit in the first three rows in class, and how on road trips there’s always a bus to go to church,” Tatford said.

“Now I’m 30 years old, and I work and go to church. Those things carry over into life. A lot of things go unseen, but you end up remembering a lot of them. Every person has their own sayings, that at the end of the day make them successful. The good ones, like Coach Robe, are unique.

“I still see a lot of my buddies (teammates) at tailgating. I ask, ‘How’s your life now?’ You end up cherishing those relationships.”

Tatford, the starting left fielder for UL as a senior, was drafted twice as a catcher. On his off days, he would play first base or in the outfield. It was a different life than college ball.

“In the minor leagues, I had the opportunity to get in an organization and experience it,” Tatford said. “A lot of people look at it as glorious, but it’s a business. Clubs have a lot of money invested in ones they drafted first, so they’re going to get the most opportunities.

“But, I had a great time while I was there. I got to experience it. I played in Brooklyn. There was a lot of the world I got to see, that I would not have seen if not for baseball.

“The minors is such a grind. It’s a job. You’re often there from noon until 10:30 at night, then get on the bus. You start to play, and you’re getting paid, but nobody cares for each other. They’re all fighting for a job. At UL, when you put on that Cajun uniform, you know 34 teammates have your back.”

Tatford and his wife Elyse have an 8-month old daughter. He is a pipeline contractor, a project engineer, in Broussard who still feeds his competitive fires by remaining fit as well as coaching and attending UL athletic events.

It’s only natural.

“As a fan, you always want to see the Cajuns have more and perform better,” he said. “It’s refreshing to see that improvements in facilities are finally getting done. It makes tailgating that much more fun.

“As an RCAF member, I’d like to see it grow every year as a pure revenue generator. You see what you can do with a little money.”

And now when the Tatford clan gathers for UL football games, there is the added bonus of watching Evan – a transfer tight end from Tulane – in uniform for the Cajuns.

“That’s awesome,” Jefferies Tatford said. “That has rejuvenated me. It gives me a better excuse to be at tailgating for 8 a.m.”

* * * * * * * *
Click here for the 2007 baseball team, including #13 Jefferies Tatford.

Click here for the Texas A&M (Regional) posted 6/7/07 Jefferies Tatford Fielding Highlight Show.

Click here for Jefferies’ Athletic Network profile.

Click here for the Jefferies Tatford Family Connections (then scroll down).

* * * * * * * *
Click here for the chronological listings of the Spotlight on Former Athletes.

* * * * * * * * * *

Originally published April 13, 2007
Baseball: Tatford takes hot bat to Troy

UL left fielder experiencing power surge

Dan McDonald

Maybe the late-season power surge came early.
Jefferies Tatford and UL baseball fans are hoping so, anyway.

The Cajuns’ senior left fielder and occasional first baseman found Western Kentucky pitching to his liking last weekend, with home runs in all three games against the Hilltoppers. It was enough to earn Tatford honors as both Sun Belt Player of the Week and state Hitter of the Week.

It was also a sudden show of power in what has been a remarkably consistent season for the Lafayette and St. Thomas More product.
“I don’t feel like I’m doing anything different,” Tatford said one day prior to the Cajuns’ Sun Belt Conference series opener at Troy. “I’m just putting good swings on balls in my zone.”

Tatford had five hits in the WKU series, with the three homers almost equaling his season total of four going into the weekend. In fact, between Feb. 18 and April 6, he had only two homers.

“Sometimes it just happens,” he said. “The key is to not take driveable pitches.”

Tatford hasn’t taken a lot of hittable pitches during a season in which he started hot and hasn’t cooled off. He was hitting over .400 the entire month of February, and hasn’t dropped below .350 all season, taking a team-leading .374 average into today’s 6 p.m. opener against the Trojans in Troy, Ala.

In contrast, Tatford had a late-season surge last year, hitting .350 over the final 10 games of the season to boost his season average to .336. He also had three of his four season home runs in those last 10 games, two of them in the Sun Belt Tournament.

“You can tell by watching that he’s a much more confident hitter,” said Cajun assistant coach John Szefc. “Last year, he’d get in a groove and have several good at-bats in a row. This year, he’s had good at-bats just about every time.”

A lot of those good at-bats came last week when he hit .429 and drove in nine runs. But Tatford has been a problem for opposing pitchers all season, mostly because he has proven to be much more in command of the strike zone.

He is far and away the team leader in both walks and hit batsmen, drawing 28 walks and being hit by pitches 10 times for 38 free passes. All last season, he drew 17 walks after getting only seven in his sophomore season.

It’s helped him become a baseball rarity … leading his team in both slugging percentage (.661) and on-base percentage (.526).

“There aren’t any big differences,” Tatford said. “Every day I go out early and get in some work, and all you try to do at this point in the season is stay in the zone and try to get good pitches to hit.”

Those pitches have come both at home and on the road, with Tatford’s numbers similar at both places. That’s been a big part of UL’s recent road success, with the Cajuns winning four of their last five away games prior to Wednesday’s 5-4 loss at Tulane.

UL plays seven of its next eight games away from Moore Field including the key three-game series with the defending league champions that begins tonight.

“It helps to know that we’ve been getting after people pretty good on the road,” Tatford said, “so there’s no pressure in that sense. We know we have to be prepared every night and every night’s going to be a fight from here on in.”

Baseball: Tatford named Hitter of the Week

Tatford named Hitter of the Week

UL senior outfielder/first baseman Jefferies Tatford earned his second honor in as many days Tuesday when he was named the state’s Hitter of the Week by the La. Sports Writers Association.

Tatford, named the Sun Belt Conference’s Player of the Week Monday, batted .429 in leading the Cajuns to a 3-1 mark last week. He had three home runs as part of his 6-of-14 week, including a home run in each of the Cajuns’ three weekend Sun Belt games against Western Kentucky. His grand-slam in that series finale helped bring UL back from a 60 deficit to a 10-6 win.

The Lafayette and St. Thomas More product had nine RBI and four runs in the four games along with a 1.071 slugging percentage and a .579 on-base mark.

Oroginally published in the Daily Advertiser, April 11, 2007.

Baseball: Tatford Tabbed Sun Belt Player of the Week

Chris Whitehead, Sports Information –

Originally published April 9, 2007

The Ragin’ Cajuns have had two consecutive Player of the Week award
recipients. Jefferies Tatford won based on his performance for the week of
Apr. 2 through Apr. 8, while Kolin Hatfield won the week before.

LAFAYETTE-Louisiana’s Ragin’ Cajuns baseball team picked up their second
Player of the Week award winner as senior Jefferies Tatford earned the
honor. The award was the second consecutive honor for the Cajuns and the
first for Tatford in his four year career.

Tatford hit .429 on the week and helped the Cajuns go 3-1 on the week. He
finished the week 6-for-14 with three homeruns, including a grand slam.

He had a homerun in each of the Cajuns three games against Western Kentucky.
Tatford drove in nine runs on the week while scoring four. The senior had a
1.071 slugging percentage with a .579 on base percentage.

Along with his six hits, Tatford also drew two walks and was hit by three

He had a perfect fielding percentage in 21 attempts while playing both in the
outfield and at first base.

Tatford is the second straight Player of the Week award winner for the
Cajuns. Kolin Hatfield took the honor the previous week for his record
setting performance against Florida International.

Tatford surest bet in new Cajun infield

February 09, 2006 –
Dan McDonald

Editor’s note: This is the second of a series of preview stories on UL’s 2006 baseball squad. The Ragin’ Cajuns open their season Tuesday at home against ULU Monroe. Today: Jefferies Tatford and the infielders.
Jefferies Tatford can play a lot of positions for the University of Louisiana baseball team, but his favorite is at the plate.

“As long as I get to swing,” Tatford said. “I do enjoy swinging the bat.”

The Ragin’ Cajuns hope he gets as many chances to swing it as possible this season. A good number of them figure to come while he’s playing first base, but he’ll catch some this year and may also see outfield time. And he’s already proven his effectiveness as a designated hitter with a .336 average last season.
“I enjoy playing anywhere I’m comfortable,” said the former two-time All-State pick at St. Thomas More. “I feel comfortable at first base and behind the plate now.”

Tatford figures to take over the first-base spot held for four years by Phillip Hawke. He’ll also take over a prominent role in a Cajun infield that could include several familiar faces or could have an all-new look to the left, depending on the situation.

On a given day, it could be lettermen Jameson Parker at shortstop and Devon Bourque at second base along with Lafayette native and Bossier Parish Community College transfer Tim Santiago at third. It could be completely different with redshirt freshmen Matt Hicks and Geoff Craig or natural freshman Grant Derouen seeing action.

Or, four newcomers listed as combination infielder-outfielders – Devery Van De Keere, William Long, Ty Rasmussen and Matt Casbon – may man the positions.

Tatford’s the surest bet in that group, though.

“We’ve been fortunate in that we’ve always had good first basemen,” said Cajun head coach Tony Robichaux. “Phillip was a big guy that was very soft around the bag, and Jefferies is continuing to get that kind of softness. But he’s also valuable to us on the 25-man roster because he can do so many things.”

“From a leadership standpoint, I learned a lot from watching Cap (former catcher Justin Morgan) and Hawke,” Tatford said. “Cap showed all of us a lot of little things, back-door stuff, things you’d never think about. Now I can show that to the next group of guys, and maybe it’ll help them, too.”

Tatford had only 16 at-bats in his freshman season before a breakout 2005 season in which he had a .503 slugging mark and finished third on the squad in hitting.

“You get more comfortable any time you do something more and more,” Tatford said. “I was learning the zone and what kind of swings you can put on what pitches. If you do that enough, you get to a point where you expect to get a hit.”

“He has been the epitome of patience and being an organizational player,” Robichaux said of Tatford. “He was a draft pick right out of high school and got only 16 at-bats as a freshman. But instead of going somewhere else he stayed as a team player.”

Getting to play all those positions – and getting to swing often – has helped.

“It definitely does keep things fresh,” Tatford said. “One day I’ll be behind the plate and the next day I’ll be at first base. I feel good both places and that’s important because pitching and defense are going to make or break us this year.”


No. Name B-T Ht. Wt. Cl. Hometown

2 Matt Hicks R-R 6-0 178 Fr. Houston, Texas

4 Geoff Craig R-R 6-2 190 Fr. Palm Harbor, Fla.

5 Jameson Parker R-R 6-0 165 Sr. Crestview, Fla.

6 Tim Santiago S-R 5-10 190 Jr. Lafayette

8 Devon Bourque L-R 5-9 160 Jr. Gonzales

12 Matt Casbon L-L 6-1 210 Jr. Lafayette

13 Jefferies Tatford L-R 6-3 210 Jr. Lafayette

24 Ty Rasmussen R-R 5-11 220 Fr. Sumner, Wash.

26 William Long S-R 5-10 180 Fr. Valrico, Fla.

33 Devery Van De Keere L-R 6-2 200 Jr. Barrhead, Alberta

35 Grant Derouen R-R 5-8 185 Fr. Lake Charles

NOTE: Tatford is listed both as an infielder and catcher; Casbon, Rasmussen, Long and Van De Keere are listed as infielders and outfielders.

Originally published February 9, 2006