Purdue Club Baseball Team gives student sense of belonging
Written By: Nicolas Kiep
James Ham (Sales and Marketing; Battle Ground, IN) has been playing baseball since he was 4 years old. He decided to come to Purdue to continue his studies and wanted to focus on his studies and get away from the sport. However, when the chance to coach his high school team, which is local, appeared he could not turn it down and it made him realize how he really missed the sport. With that James decided to try out for the club baseball team. The tryouts happen in the second week in the Fall and Spring and you can tryout whatever semester you would like.
James was attracted to joining the club due to the time commitment by having two practices a week and a series against other schools on the weekend. This allowed him to focus on his studies, enjoy his free time but also commit to being at practice twice a week and playing games on the weekends. James explains how practices are “pretty laid back with some stretching and warming followed by defensive work and batting practice and it lasts for about two hours”.
His freshman year, when covid hit, James mentioned how it impacted the club a lot and it caused them to miss tournaments and practices. One of the biggest memories he has is that in March 2020 the team was going to go to Florida for spring break to participate in a tournament but three days before they were going to leave it was cancelled. The next two semesters Club sports was not allowed to have practices or games and as James said “Fall of 2021 we were finally able to have practice and games normally like we did before the pandemic”.
The club baseball team has made James’ experience very fun and he has realized that he “has some game left in the tank to play competitive baseball”. It has been a very good time to meet other people and enjoy the game of baseball a couple of times a week. James explained how the season goes from September to November and from January to April. He recommends anyone that wants to continue to play competitive baseball in college to join the team because he has had a lot of fun and made a lot of memories he will never forget. His favorite one being when they started him as a pitcher his freshman year and everybody was pleased with his performance and that made him realize that “I belonged on this team”.