Pictured: Frank Herrmann, left, is having plenty of fun and
success as a professional baseball player. He was called up to the
Cleveland Indians on June 4, 2010.
Contributions from Justin B. Hill, MLB.com
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Former Harvard pitcher Frank Herrmann has been called up to the Major League and will be pitching for the Cleveland Indians this weekend. The Chicago White Sox will host Cleveland on Friday, Saturday and Sunday before the Tribe returns home for a seven-game homestand with the first four coming against the Boston Red Sox.
Before getting the call, Herrmann was having a masterful season at AAA Columbus as a relief pitcher for the Clippers. Going into Wednesday night's game, RHP Frank Herrmann had pitched 27 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings. For the season, Herrmann is 3-0 with two saves and a microscopic 0.31 ERA in 28 2/3 innings. He has allowed just 15 hits and eight walks while striking out 22.
His latest stint came in a 4-3 win against Louisville on Memorial Day when he struck out the side in a scoreless ninth inning en route to a victory. Herrmann is clearly on the radar screen for the Cleveland Indian’s top minor league affiliate.
Back in the summer of 2005, Herrmann’s connections at Harvard brought him to Hawaii, where the big right-hander figured would be a good place to spend the summer playing baseball.
"I said, 'Wow, living in Hawaii for six weeks for free, what an opportunity,'" he recalled thinking.
Playing baseball in Hawaii wasn't nearly the opportunity that opened up for him after his summer there ended. For Herrmann impressed an Indians scout, who took Herrmann's name to higher-ups in the organization. They decided the right-handed prospect was worth the investment.
They talked dollars with Herrmann, and when the Indians agreed to let Herrmann, an economics major, return to Harvard in time for fall classes, the two sides settled on a deal with a bit more than pocket money as his signing bonus.
"It was an amazing whirlwind of events how it all happened," Herrmann said. "If one thing went wrong, if the Indians had said, 'No, you can't go back to school your next fall,'" Herrmann, 23, wouldn't be working his way toward the big leagues.
Yet Herrmann will be quick to say his road to a professional baseball career was more circuitous than it might seem. As an Ivy Leaguer, he played ball for Harvard, and his sights were on investment banking.
He had a soft spot for baseball. He still loved it - his summer in Hawaii proved that. But the reality of what Harvard was preparing him to do should outweigh his love of the game, family and friends told Herrmann. The smart move, they said, was to take his Harvard degree and then chase the money on Wall Street.
Herrmann didn't listen to them.
"For me, it was a no-brainer," he said. "You get an opportunity to have, arguably, the best job in the world -- that's making it to the Major Leagues."
The thought doesn't seem so farfetched these days. His dreams of a life in the bigs are growing clearer and clearer as he moves through the Minors.
"He's strong -- he's extremely durable, and he's got good fastball ability," said Ross Atkins, Indians farm director. "He's a guy who put his fastball on the plate, has durability and a lot of athleticism -- a big, strong kid."
"Overall, I'd take this over any job," Herrmann said. "I play baseball for a living. Not many people can say that."