Returning to GoCrimson.com for a third season, "Around The Yard: Life As A Harvard Student-Athlete" explores life away from the playing fields for select Harvard student-athletes through their own first-person narrative. For a full list of blog entries, click here.
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Nov. 1, 2016
Not much has changed with the game of baseball since I started playing as a six-year-old. While the rules slightly changed and the field got bigger, the essence of the game is timeless, from playing in a little league game to playing at the collegiate level. However, one thing changes frequently: the people with whom you play.
As a sophomore transfer student to Harvard, I had a tough time getting acclimated. I was closer to home, sure, but I was at a new place surrounded by new people – again. Although I was recovering from a knee injury, Coach Decker gave me a shot and I was able to walk on to the team. I was ecstatic – I get to play baseball at Harvard. My dream of being a Division I athlete at an incredible university became a reality.
The days got longer and the work got harder. But after an early morning practice, a tough lift in Palmer-Dixon or a weekend doubleheader, I looked around and found thirty guys right there with me. These guys push me to work hard and have fun. They pick me up if I make a bad play or have a bad day. They’re there no matter what.
Our team is comprised of truly incredible people. We have engineers who are developing accessible medical diagnostic tools. We have mentors working with local elementary schools. We have political activists pushing for better policies in Washington D.C. But most importantly, we have people who care about each other. In a world where people are constantly tearing each other down instead of building each other up – it is comforting to be in a locker room where people genuinely care about others.
We are faced with the reality that the culture within locker rooms can be problematic. We also recognize that these problems are not confined to the locker room– that they are embedded within the norms of our society. As men and as people, we are working hard to become a group of leaders who embrace the true value within each and every person.
I can’t wait to see how all of our hard work on the field pays off in the spring. But what excites me even more is witnessing how my teammates will change the world. Their energy, focus and support on the field, in the classroom and in our community inspires me to be the best player – and the best person – I can possibly be. I’m beyond grateful to be able to represent Harvard on the baseball field. And I’m proud to be doing so with my teammates – guys who I know will make this world a better place.