Citadel baseball coach Fred Jordan can't swear that Dallas McPherson never considered giving up.
"It definitely crossed his mind," Jordan said of the former Bulldogs standout. "He would say, if I can't get a (baseball) job, I'll have to go to work."
Three years after his last big-league hit, and 10 years after he was a second-round pick of the Angels, McPherson is back in Major League Baseball. His pinch-hit single Tuesday night for the Chicago White Sox was his first MLB hit since Sept. 10, 2008.
His long and winding road back to the majors took McPherson through two back surgeries, two 40-home run seasons in the minors and stints with the Angels, Marlins, Athletics and White Sox.
"We're extremely proud of him," Jordan said of McPherson, who played third base and pitcher for the Bulldogs from 1999-2001. "It's a testament to his courage and determination. When he was back here (last summer), he told me, 'I can still play this game.' "
"He sort of jokingly said, 'I'll be back in the big leagues.' And here he is."
McPherson, 30, was called up by the White Sox on Monday after third baseman Mark Teahen was put on the 15-day disabled list. McPherson had been hitting .305 with three homers and 18 RBIs in 31 games for Class AAA Charlotte.
"I knew I wanted to keep playing baseball and I felt like I still could," McPherson told ESPN.com this week. "My back was obviously gonna tell me whether I could or not. Luckily right now it's holding up. That's all I can really ask for and pray it continues that way."
He seemed ticketed for stardom after hitting 40 home runs with 126 RBIs in Class AA and AAA in 2004 and earning a call-up to the Angels. Back surgery cost him the 2007 season, but he came back to blast 42 homers with 98 RBIs in AAA in 2008.
Another back surgery kept him out in 2009, and he suffered hamstring problems while trying to hook on with the Athletics last season.
There's no telling how long McPherson's current stay with the White Sox will last. Perhaps he can do enough to stick with the club, or earn interest from another team.
"After the springs I've had in the past and the past few years with all the injuries, I really was happy to be healthy and go out and play every day," he said. "Hopefully I can showcase that I'm healthy and feeling good and can somehow help produce at the major league level."