Baseball Gains National Attention
After a walk-off win against Albion was posted to YouTube (http://youtu.be/OQN5rXG7o60), Calvin Baseball gained attention from the MLB FanCave (http://mlb.mlb.com/fancave/blog/article.jsp?content=article&content_id=71991384) and eventually ESPN (http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=10787509). The play was also featured on ESPN’s Keith Olbermann Show on April 15 and continued to circulate around the country on several different news programs.
Junior Grant VanPutten stole home to give the Knights a win, but he wasn’t thinking about the fame when he made the play. “I had no idea at the time it would be this huge — I was just excited to have pulled off the victory.”
His teammates also recognized that while the play and attention are exciting, there are bigger goals at hand. Grant VanderWall helped his teammates refocus on the task at hand. “As fun and crazy as all the hype has been, every single person on the team knows what our ultimate goal is for the season.”
All of the excitement seems to have helped the team find their zone. “It helps swing the momentum in our favor,” said Peter Cupery, “As a team, we seem to be playing with more confidence.” The Knights find themselves continuing to play well as they sit in second in the MIAA with a conference record of 12-8, and 18-12 overall.
Gaining national attention in such fashion is good PR for the program, and coach John Sparks acknowledged that in an interview. The video displays the hustle and competitiveness instilled in each member of the team. Coach Sparks believes that the attention should be handled humbly. “Anytime you get publicity, you want to handle it in a modest way and realize that it is ultimately the Lord that gives us the gifts — the speed and ability.”
The Calvin Knights swing back into action on Thursday, opening a four-game series with Trine. With two MIAA series remaining, the Knights have an opportunity to capture a place in the MIAA tournament.