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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Doug Sylvester ’08: A True American Hero

<u may know North Dakota as the better of the two Dakotas. Or you may know it as the most lovable of Minnesota’s neighbors (in your dreams, Wisconsin). But what most people are unaware of is North Dakota’s rich traditional of producing great American icons. From Sacagawea, the greatest of all American tour guides, to Roger Maris, a classy guy and the current steroid-free MLB home run king, North Dakotans have been enriching our lives for over 200 years. Carrying on this tradition of excellence right here at Carleton is fan-favorite baseball star Doug Sylvester. The outfielder from Fargo is the lone senior on this year’s team, and will leave Carleton as one of the Knight’s all-time greats.

A standout even during his freshman year, Doug is a .330 career hitter, and has ranked at or near the top of the team in each of his four seasons in runs scored, walks, and clutch plays. He plays baseball the way it was meant to be played, and both scouts and fans gush about his team-first mentality, Papa Smurf-like leadership ability, and smile that could make your heart melt. Perhaps best of all, when Doug reflects on his career, he doesn’t make you want to throw something at your TV (unlike a certain Packers quarterback), as The Carletonian discovered during a recent interview:

When did you start playing baseball?

Doug: “I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota and have played baseball ever since I can remember. I have an older brother who played baseball and I would either be the batboy for the team or make my Dad play catch with me or pitch to me at my brother’s games. I went to Fargo North High School and started in centerfield each year.

What is your favorite baseball memory before college?

Doug: “I have a lot of good memories of baseball before college, but my favorite is probably winning the state tournament my sophomore year of high school. We were the visiting team, and I got to catch the final out of the game and then sprint in and jump into the dog pile at the mound.”

How does next year’s Carleton team look?

Doug: “Next year’s team is still going to be a pretty young team compared to the other teams in the conference, but a lot of guys gained experience this season. Expect Ethan Guevin to be pitcher of the year provided that he continues to develop the eephus pitch and gets some run support. Also expect Jay Melson to continue to destroy the ball. If the wind isn’t blowing in at 25-40 mph at our field, Jay could easily hit over 10 home runs.”

What is your favorite ballpark food?

Doug: “To eat, it’s tough to beat a hot dog or a brat with ketchup and mustard. Sunflower seeds are also a must. As far as drinks go, a cold beer is pretty* refreshing.”


What is your favorite pre-game or in-game ritual?

Doug: “Telling Russell Fujisawa to settle down.”

What is your favorite Carleton baseball memory?

Doug: “I had a lot of fun with baseball at Carleton, and will have many good memories. Some of my favorite memories from games are beating Trinity (then nationally ranked) and St. Olaf my freshman year, hitting a walk-off single when we swept Augsburg my sophomore year, and throwing out a runner tagging up from third to end the game against St. Mary’s my junior year. My Grandfather graduated from Carleton in 1942, and on senior day this year he threw out the first pitch before the doubleheader. It was pretty sweet. A few of many other highlights include witnessing Ryan Mergenthal diving for balls in the rec center, when Lojo got beaned in the back in the Metrodome, and watching Ethan push Augsburg’s catcher out of the way after we beat them with a play at the plate. Also, whenever Russ became Red Russ while wearing his sunglasses.”

Doug Sylvester has had a remarkable career, and is a perfect example of the type of student-athlete that thrives at Carleton. Doug will certainly be missed here, both on and off the field, but his legacy of hard work, dedication, and enjoyment of cold beer is sure to live on in the hearts of all Knights.

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