KPB Blog

Thankful for College Baseball

It’s Thanksgiving and baseball is dormant around the country. Spring will be here before you know it, and if you are anything like us, you’re already itching to get back out there. But this quiet period is a great time to pause and reflect. We thought Thanksgiving would be the perfect time to depart from our normal content and share some more personal reflections. KPB asked a few former college players, now playing in the minors, to share which parts of college baseball they are most thankful for. Here’s what they said:

Chad Sobotka, Braves:

“I’m thankful for the opportunity to play college baseball and the relationships that I built with my teammates and coaches. Also, college baseball has given me the opportunity to not only achieve my professional goals but also helped me build a foundation for my future.”

Devon Rodriguez, Texas Air Hogs:

“For me, getting the opportunity to play college baseball was more than just baseball. I was able to build relationships with friends and coaches that will last a lifetime, while also graduating with a degree from the top public university in the world. On the baseball side, I was able to compete and play in one of the top conferences in the country. Playing college baseball is an opportunity I will forever cherish and be grateful for.”

Trevor Hildenberger, Twins:

“I learned how to manage my time properly, something that I never had to learn in high school. College challenged me to set my priorities straight and focus on what mattered to me. Without those skills I wouldn’t be the person I am today.”

Robbie Tenerowicz, Rays:

“I’m thankful that I went to college and got to be 18 and make mistakes and mess up. All the communication and growing up that college lets you do. The biggest thing I learned is how to communicate. How to tell someone above you that you disagree with what they are saying, but respect their opinion. That you want the same thing as them and want to work with them and have a conversation about how to make it happen. Now, coaches appreciate the fact that I can say no, that I can take constructive criticism and want to hear the truth.”

Mitchell Kranson, Twins:

“I’m thankful for college baseball because it allowed me to get a degree from the top public university in the world while playing the game I love, in the most competitive conference in the country.”

Nick Halamandaris, Mariners:

“I have no doubt that when I look back on my 4 years of college ball I will forever recognize them as my first years of adulthood. It was in these four years that I learned how to be a participant in a group and/or community that is larger than the individual self. From day one, you are transplanted into this new family, and as you progress with this new family, you hopefully will be able to look back after four or five years and realize your mere teammates at the start have now become your brothers. And for my part, I know these baseball brothers will be my family the rest of my life.”

Chris Paul, Twins:

“College was the best four years of my life. Between school and baseball and the friends you make and the social life, it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world.”

Danny Oh, Athletics:

“The great moments in life are something that you cannot put a value on. One of the greatest experiences in my life, thus far, were the four years I spent in college. What made the experience so special was the people I got to spend those years with. Being a part of the baseball team felt more like a brotherhood than a friendship, with all the time we spent together on and off the field. I will always be proud of the feats we accomplished as a team and even persevering through the not so good times. Those moments are only as great as the people you get to spend them with. When we have reunions, we will always have great memories to look back on. We all went different routes upon graduation. Some still play pro ball, most entered the work force. Regardless of our professions today, we will forever be college baseball players and for that, I am thankful.”

At KPB, we are thankful for your support and the opportunity to help players benefit from the amazing experiences that college baseball can provide. We wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!