It’s a different type of college baseball.
This college baseball doesn’t have the beautifully landscaped outfields, the plush travel buses or bleachers filled with cheering fans.
The results of the game do not appear in the newspaper and the highlights are never shown on ESPN.
This is baseball for the pure fun and love of the game. This is college club baseball.
This spring, a team from the College of Charleston is playing its first season as a member of the National Club Baseball Association. The club is playing a 15-game schedule against teams from the University of West Georgia, Wofford College, College of Coastal Georgia, among other regional schools.
But the College of Charleston club baseball team may not have become a reality if it wasn’t for CofC student Jacob Anders. Anders played outfield for his high school baseball team at South Lakes High School in Reston, Virginia. He loved the game and was not ready to give it up when he came to the College. So, during his freshman year he walked into the offices of Campus Recreation Services and asked Director Gene Sessoms about the possibilities of starting a club baseball team.
“I told him about the difficulties he would face trying to start this club, but he was very persistent,” says Sessoms. “The biggest hurdle he faced was securing a baseball field where they can play and practice.”
Anders accepted the challenge of starting the club from scratch, and began the long process of calling around trying to find a suitable baseball field.
It wasn’t easy.
But persistence paid off and after a lot of phone calls – and rejections – Anders finally secured a field in Summerville.
Once he had a place to play, he had to turn his attention to building a team.
“I was a freshman and did not know a lot of people, so I decided to put up a bunch of flyers (around campus) about the club,” says Anders, who is now finishing his junior year. “Eventually a couple of people saw it, they knew people who knew other people, and eventually we were able to get enough players.”
Like Anders, the team members were also former high school players who weren’t ready to trade in baseball for other college recreational sports like softball or flag football.
With a field secured and a team in place, the new College of Charleston club baseball team held its first practice in Fall 2016.
And Anders’ dream finally came to fruition earlier this year when the CofC club baseball team played its inaugural game and defeated Wofford College’s club team with a score of 6-4.
Next year, Anders will be a senior and plans to graduate with a communication degree. However, he is already working with other team members to make sure the club team he built from scratch will continue to take the field for many years to come.