Paul Stoffel

School: Upper Dublin



Favorite athlete: Bryce Harper

Favorite team:  Philadelphia Phillies

Favorite memory competing in sports: Winning the Liberty Division championship for baseball last year

Most embarrassing/funniest thing that has happened while competing in sports: Watching a ball go right by a teammate and making our pitcher lose his mind.

Music on playlist: Country and Pop  

Future plans: Attending Ole Miss and majoring in Finance

Words to live by: “It is what it is.”

One goal before turning 30:  Get a job and start a family

One thing people don’t know about me: My great grandfather played for the Phillies


It had been a long and winding road that led Upper Dublin senior Paul Stoffel into the batter’s box at Hatboro-Horsham on April 9.

After a difficult sophomore season, one that saw him plummet from the varsity roster to sporadic playing time with the JV squad, Stoffel rebounded with a strong junior season and was on the verge of breaking out as a senior.

He had been hitting the ball hard, but right at people.

It only seemed to be a matter of time.

And then, disaster.

Time ran out.

“It was in his second at-bat of the game,” said Upper Dublin coach Ed Wall. “He ended up dislocating his knee, and tearing a couple of ligaments in the process. I’ve never seen it before. He dislocated it on a swing. His foot just never rotated. It was just the most bizarre thing ever. He dropped right down in the batter’s box.”

While it is a natural to hope it is not as bad as initially feared, it was pretty evident that that gruesome injury to his left knee was season-ending.

“My foot got stuck in the dirt, mid-swing,” said Stoffel, who played football up until last year and excels in the classroom with a 3.6 GPA. “I dislocated my kneecap, my patella tendon and I tore my MPFL as well. I remember looking down at my knee. I could see my knee cap on the side of my leg.

“It was really just a freak accident. There was nothing I could have done to prevent it, I guess.”

For Stoffel, who had surgery a few weeks ago, the sudden turn of events was beyond devastating.

He vividly recalled: “When I was laying on the ground, in the batter’s box, (Wall) was holding my hand and I just kept saying, ‘Why me? Why me?’ I kept repeating that phrase, over and over again.”

Stoffel wasn’t planning on playing in college, so it was the end of his organized baseball career.

“I felt terrible,” said Wall. “He’s a two-year starter for us, and one of our senior leaders. He’s a captain, and a super competitive kid. He has worked his butt off over the last four years to do the best that he could in his senior year. He was doing just that.”

With a future planned to attend Ole Miss, Stoffel could have checked out on his team and become nothing more than a casual observer.

However, despite his disappointment, that was not going to happen.

Said Wall: “Every piece of everything he can be a part of, he is a part of. He still comes to the practices, the weekend sessions, and all other stuff like that. Inside, I know he is hurting. He is not letting that show for anybody, which is the mark of a good leader.

“Paul is an awesome kid – in the building, out of the building, in the locker room and on the field. He is a super competitive kid who has really matured into a really good team leader. He’s someone who is helping other guys and pushing them to get better and doing some of the little things to help make that happen with the younger kids.”

Brotherly Shove

In particular, Stoffel is serving as a mentor to his replacement – his younger brother, Eddie Stoffel, who came up from JV and became the new second baseman.

“He has filled in well at second base, and we see Paul coaching him up on the side,” said Wall. “It’s a really cool dynamic, to see those guys communicating and Paul pulling him aside and telling him some things in a way that only an awesome brother could.

According to Wall, Eddie Stoffel is likely to remain a fixture at second base, having adjusted to the speed of the game at the varsity level.

“He has done a really good job working through it, and Paul has been a big part of it,” said Wall. “He started off at JV, but he was one of those players that you could tell was going to be a varsity guy, and sooner than later. He was batting in the upper .300s to .400 at JV and was just a super tough out. He makes a lot of consistent contact. He is going to be a really good player for us down the road.”

The sons of Tina and Paul Sr. had never been formal teammates before. While they can’t be on the field together, this is more than the next best thing.

“If there is a word to describe it, I’d say it is bittersweet,” said Paul Stoffel. “It’s bitter because I’m not the one on the field, but it’s been really cool and special to share a team with my brother for the first time ever. Watching him fill in for me, and do a good job at it, has been something that has been really cool to watch.

“We have always been close. We have always shared a special bond with baseball, but he was on teams younger than mine. It never really lined up until this year.”

Although the younger Stoffel was considered a hot prospect, there was the concern about rising to the occasion at the varsity level.

He has allayed those fears.

“I feel he is doing really well,” said Paul Stoffel. “He has not only filled my spot, but he has exceeded everyone’s expectations. Whenever he has stepped into a big moment, he had performed time and time again. He just picked it up and hit the ground running.”

Eddie Stoffel? The sophomore is just taking one pitch, one inning and one game at a time.

“I feel I’m doing pretty well so far,” he said. “I guess I could be doing better in some aspects of the game, but I’m playing my role pretty well right now.”

Eddie Stoffel is in the middle of Wall’s lineup card, hitting fifth or sixth, which is where his brother was well.

“It was a little weird at first, but I was inspired to do it and step up into his role,” said Eddie. “It is definitely a first for us, being on the same team together, even if we’re not able to play on the field together.

“I felt horrible, when I heard he wasn’t going to get the chance to play again, especially with it being his senior year. I just had to step up for him.”

Family Ties

His name was Willie “Puddin’ Head” Jones, a 15-year major-leaguer from the Carolinas who played 1,691 games in the major leagues for three teams in a 15-year career.

Jones, a veteran of World War II, was an adequate hitter (.258, 190 home runs) and an outstanding fielder who led the league in fielding percentage five times, in putouts seven times (tying a record) and twice in each in assists and double plays.

Jones is best known in the Philadelphia area for being the third baseman and fan favorite of the 1950 Phillies, known as the Whiz Kids, that won the National League pennant before getting by the Joe DiMaggio-led New York Yankees.

A two-time all-star, he played for the Phillies until 1959.

Jones died in 1961 at the age of 58, but the Stoffel brothers are his great grandsons.

It doesn’t stop there.

Ed Jones, their grandfather, was the coach of the Springfield High softball team that reached the state championship game.

His daughter, Tina, started at second base – the same position her sons now play.

Ed Jones, now the assistant softball coach at Upper Dublin, worked as a county sheriff and was seriously wounded when shot on the job.

“That was before I was born, but I heard countless stories about it,” said Paul.

Battling back from adversity is a special bond the two now share.

“He is the one who has really been helping me get through all this, man – not only as a player, but also as a person,” said Stoffel, who also thanked his parents for their support.