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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

“Baseball Brotherhood”: the unity and stereotypes

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Being a freshman athlete can be perceived as a difficult task to overcome. You’re in a new place, meeting new people, adjusting to a new team, while attempting to combat the rigor of a Carleton education. Although I am only a week into my first spring playing baseball, I can already tell that it will be difficult. Playing baseball, maintaining solid grades, and actually having a social life can be hard to balance. This, in turn, is why some Carleton students choose not to compete past their freshman year. They realize, after experiencing what the student-athlete life is all about, that they can’t balance everything that comes with being a student-athlete.

Travel time, practice time, workout time, study time and social time. Student-athletes have to figure out a way to balance this. We are sore all the time, mentally and physically drained from practice and workouts, and still try to figure out a way to study nonetheless. It’s extremely taxing, but we get the job done. Although I haven’t experienced a spring season yet, I’ve heard it can be difficult. Coming back from away games after the dining halls close and having to eat Dominos, long bus rides, and eight-hour days on the field, are all things we will have to deal with soon. However, we look past the rough parts of being an athlete for the love of baseball.

Freshman baseball players miss out on a lot of things. We miss out on the jokes that the upperclassmen tell that relate to years past. We miss out on rooming together. We miss out on funny stories that have happened the past year. However, the thing we do not miss out on is being part of a collective team that has one major goal in mind: winning the MIAC and making playoffs. We all strive to be the best players we can be. As a freshman, we have to buy into this aspect of the game. We know we might not play as much as our older teammates, but it doesn’t matter, because we want the best players to be out on the field so our team can be as successful as it can be.

The amount of time spent here on campus together makes us feeling like we are in a brotherhood, one that will exist for years to come. This is only the beginning. This is what a small school like Carleton does for us. It keeps us close together. I hope all the other teams at Carleton are like us, the whole team coming together to make the freshmen feel at home.

What makes being a freshman baseball player’s life difficult here is not just the adjustments we need to succeed here at Carleton, but the reputation of being a baseball player. Sometimes, even before people get to know me, they have this warped view of what I am like. Carleton students praise themselves on their openness to embracing everyone. Sadly, this hasn’t been my experience as a Knight. Strangers, solely based on the sport I play, have wrongly judged me. Although most people on campus are not like this, it still worries me. This could hurt our baseball recruiting, and in my opinion, hurts Carleton’s overall reputation. It makes some athletes question what Carleton is all about. I am proud to be a baseball player, and proud to be part of our Carleton baseball brotherhood. No matter what, nobody can try to make me second-guess my choice to play. I have to have tough skin. Being a baseball player at Carleton gives me an attitude that will help me succeed later in life. It will help me look at the bright side of confrontation and criticism and make me a better person in the end.

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