The days of a three-sport athlete in high school are becoming rarer and rarer all the time.
Adam Housley went year-round, season after season, for Vintage High School in the 1980s.
He put a lot of time into baseball, as he also played on different teams during the summer months. But he was also able to play two additional sports, soccer and football, for the Crushers.
He was a starting wide receiver and a kicker on the football team. He was a starting pitcher on the baseball team. He started at the striker position in soccer.
“I was lucky to letter and start in all three sports,” Housley said recently. “I was very blessed to play high school football at Vintage, to catch a pass in the Big Game and score a goal in Big Game soccer. I got a win against Napa at the Easter Tournament.
“I think I’m one of those guys that did all the little things. I was never flashy.”
One thing is certain about Housley: he has worked very hard over the years – making the baseball team at Pepperdine as a walk-on, continuing his career in the minor leagues, rising through the ranks of TV news.
“As a kid, Adam wanted to win, no matter what it was,” Art Housley’s, Adam’s father, said in a Napa Valley Register story in 2006. “If he missed a goal playing soccer he was upset with himself. He’s always been really competitive, so when he goes out there for the story, he wants the story. He hustles.”
Adam Housley, a top relief pitcher for Pepperdine University during its run to the 1992 College World Series title, will be honored next month when he is inducted into the Vintage High Athletic Hall of Fame.
Housley, a 1989 graduate, and seven others were selected for this year’s Hall of Fame class.
Steve Wallace (Class of 1977), Jerry Smith and Mike Jarecki (Class of 1979), Ryan Steen (Class of 1993), Anna Cmaylo (Class of 2004), Liza Saunders and Marty James are also in the class.
Saunders recently retired after 41 years as Vintage’s head swimming and diving coach. James, who retired on June 4 after 40 years with the Napa Valley Register, is a special category inductee.
The newest class will be introduced at Vintage’s Hall of Fame Game on Friday, Sept. 6, when the Crushers face Acalanes-Lafayette in a nonleague game at 7 p.m. at Napa Memorial Stadium.
A dinner and enshrinement ceremony is on Saturday, Sept. 7 at the Elks Lodge of Napa. To purchase tickets for the event, or for more information, go to vintageboosters.com.
The mission of the Vintage Athletic Hall of Fame Foundation, which is now in its seventh year, is to recognize and honor the outstanding achievements of individual athletes, coaches and/or special individuals who have contributed to the development, success, tradition and integrity of VHS athletics.
Individuals may be nominated in one of the three following categories: athlete, coach, or special/other.
The selection committee reviews the submitted nominations and makes its recommendations to the board of directors. The board approves the recommendation.
“I’m very flattered and very honored. There’s no other way of putting it,” said Housley, 47. “My whole family has gone through Vintage. Even though I’m a Vintage guy, I’m one of those guys who roots for the hometown. I’ve always been that way and it will always be that way.”
College Years and Baseball
Housley had success in summer-time baseball, earning Junior Olympic All-America honors for the Napa Senators and All-State as a Joe DiMaggio League player.
He played American Legion Baseball for manager Kyle Rasmusen for three years, Junior Olympic baseball for one year for the Napa Senators for manager Rich Anderson and coach Damon Neidlinger, and Joe DiMaggio League Baseball for two years.
He was originally a walk-on at Pepperdine and was on the pitching staff for four years. He was selected to the All-West Coast Conference team and ranks in the top-10 all-time in school history for appearances.
Housley went 4-1 with a 3.45 earned run average in 16 games as a junior reliever for the Waves’ 1992 CWS title team.
Pepperdine beat four straight opponents to win the title.
For his collegiate career, he was 8-5 with a 2.80 ERA with four saves in 49 games as submarine-style right-hander. He’s a member of the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame and was nominated by the school for Rhodes Scholar recognition. He was student body president as a senior.
Housley worked hard to get a spot on the Pepperdine team.
“My freshman year, coach (Andy) Lopez said, ‘You may never play here.’ My comment to him was, ‘I’m going to prove you wrong.’ I worked my way into that position as the closer on the team. And that had to carry on through minor league baseball, too.
“Coach Lopez really instilled in us that, ‘Hey, we’ve got to be better than everybody, mentally and physically.”
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Housley played two summers in the Cape Cod League, one of the top leagues for collegiate players. He was drafted in the 62nd round by the Montreal Expos in the June Amateur MLB Draft in 1993, but elected to return for his senior year of college.
He spent 3½ years in the minors with the Detroit and Milwaukee organizations. He made it to Double-A ball.
Housley liked entering games in pressure situations.
“I pitched well at home, but I pitched better on the road,” said Housley. “I loved shutting them up. Coming into a game where everyone’s screaming at you and I come in throwing side arm, that made it even more enjoyable for them to yell the most crazy things at me as you might imagine. That’s the greatest feeling in the world when the place is going absolutely bonkers. And you come in and the first guy you strike out, the other guy grounds out and all of a sudden the inning’s over and you walk off the field, the place is silent. You know, I love that almost better than a place going bananas.”
The 1992 Pepperdine team went 48-11-1 overall and also won the West Coast Conference title. The Waves won the NCAA West Regional Championship in Tucson, Arizona. They beat Cal State Fullerton in the CWS finals, 3-2, at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. The ’92 team was inducted into the Pepperdine Athletics Hall of Fame in 1999.
His first stop in professional baseball was in 1994, for Corpus Christi, Texas, an independent league team. He was 1-1 with a 6.69 ERA in 35 innings, with 24 appearances. He had two saves.
In 1995, in affiliated ball in the Detroit organization, he was a combined 3-2 with a 3.97 ERA in 68 innings, with 38 appearances on two teams. He had two saves.
In 1996, for Beloit (Rock County, Wisconsin), a Milwaukee affiliate, he was 2-4 with a 2.99 ERA in 69 1/3 innings, with 34 appearances. He had four saves.
He was released at the end of spring training in Double-A in 1997.
“I had played this game since I was 6 years old and it was my dream. Maybe, sometimes dreams change,” he said.
“I have an amazing family that’s always been there for me. Their support has always been there through thick and thin. And it’s the people in town that have always been behind me as well. There’s a lot of people here that have supported me over the years, which has been great. I’ll never forget that.”
Housley graduated from Pepperdine in 1994 with degrees in political science and telecommunications.
TV News Background
Housley left Fox News last year as a senior news national correspondent with a year still left on his contract.
“I got into news to see history from the front row,” he said. “I walked away from it. I walked on my own terms. I know I gave them 150 percent. I never caused them any problems. I covered everything. I had a really good reputation there. And in my industry, I had a good reputation.”
He had been with Fox since 2001, covering breaking news and major events throughout the country and world.
Prior to that, he worked in TV news as a news reporter at KNVN, an NBC-TV affiliate in Chico.
He had 21 years in TV news.
“I was given a unique opportunity to go into TV news,” he said. “I’d never, never truly been handed anything. To start in Chico was a blessing. And then from that point on, again I had nothing handed to me. I had to work my butt off, you know, to get where I got to. But it was a unique situation, that baseball really did help prepare me for life in general.”
He had done some work in radio, including some play-by-play duties for KVON 1440 AM in Napa.
He also worked as a reporter-sportscaster at KTXL-Fox 40 in Sacramento for 18 months and as a lead reporter-anchor for KFTY-Channel 50 in Santa Rosa for two years.
Housley won a Northern California Emmy award for On-Camera Sports for his work at KTXL. He received an Associated Press Television-Radio Association award for Best Sports Reporting. He has also been honored with Emmy and AP awards.
Housley and his wife, Tamera Mowry Housley, have two children, a son, Aden, 6 ½, and a daughter, Ariah, 4.
Adam and Tamera have a TV show, “The Housley Life,” which is shown on YouTube.
Adam is also involved in his family’s winery, Housley Century Oak Winery, in Lodi, and Housley Napa Valley, a tasting room, located at 1038 Clinton St., Napa.
Adam is also a part-owner of Napa Valley 1839 FC, a local men’s amateur soccer team. Napa Valley 1839 FC plays in the West Region of the National Premier Soccer League’s Golden Gate Conference.
Adam’s brother, Arik Housley, is one of the team’s owners.