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The Local Kid – University of Nebraska

Slugging With a Dream

It all started on the Wiffle Ball field outside of Oracle Park.

My mom was a big San Francisco Giants fan, and I remember making the trip out to the stadium every once in a while when we lived in Reno. Barry Bonds was still playing at the time, and I quickly fell in love with the game. I was three years old running around in our backyard trying to match his slash line—just a kid with big dreams and more energy than I knew what to do with really.

But as I grew older, I started to appreciate the competitiveness of the sport. Ted Williams once said, “Baseball is the only field of endeavor where a man can succeed three times out of ten and be considered a good performer.”

Boy, was he right.

I became a Huskers fan when my family moved to Nebraska. That’s when I put down the plastic bat and picked up a real one. It’s when the dreams of playing Division I baseball for the Huskers started to consume me.

Unfortunately, however, I wasn’t the most physically gifted player growing up. I wasn’t the biggest, strongest, or hardest-throwing kid. So I knew I probably wasn’t ready to make that jump to Division I baseball right out of high school.

And honestly, it was really disappointing.

Imagine spending your entire childhood working towards a goal, only to have it snubbed by your own physical limitations. While others were being recruited, my phone was silent. 

All I needed was an opportunity, and with a little help from social media, I finally got one.

The head coach from South Mountain Community College in Arizona made a habit of liking posts on Twitter that were retweeting out my stat lines. He had been doing this so often that he finally took a closer look at me. So he reached out to invite me on a visit, and the next thing I knew, I was on a plane ride to Arizona to commit to a junior college for my freshman year.

Surely, there was still disappointment over not playing for a Division I school, but honestly, I was just so thankful for the opportunity. Not everybody gets a chance like that. 

After all, I was one of those guys that got to continue playing baseball after college.

What more could I ask for?

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