Frank pitched at Yankee Stadium on June 10, 2011
"Over the past few weeks I have started
to see what former Harvard baseball captain Trey Hendricks ’04
meant when he told me, “pro ball just ain’t the same”.
Most advised me that signing then would be a great opportunity
- Last summer, when I was trying to decide whether or not to forego my senior year of eligibility and sign a professional contract, I reached out to a lot of people in the “baseball know” whose opinions I respected.
and something I should really consider. And when I called Trey I expected to hear much of the same.
He warned that playing baseball in the minor
leagues was really more about developing the individual
than about the team-first, “win-at-all-costs” mentality that prevails at Harvard. This is not to say that my current teammates are in any way selfish or that winning is not their ultimate goal but the dugout just seems to lack that same buzz
and excitement that is present when playing
In minor league baseball staying healthy and improving so that you can make it to the major leagues is the ultimate goal.
- a Sunday doubleheader against Dartmouth with the Ivy League title on the line.
Of course every kid that picks up a bat and ball wants to play in the Majors, but at this point the picture becomes much clearer.
- Sacrifices need to be made to see these goals through.
In my own case, I am currently limited to sixty pitches
per outing. Now if I had stayed at Harvard I would likely be throwing a hundred or more pitches
every time I took the mound. As a pitcher you pride yourself on how long you can lead your team and how many wins you can earn.
- Throwing only sixty pitches limits me to four innings and thus does not allow me to qualify for a win (the winning starting pitcher needs a minimum of five innings) and leaves others having to pick up the slack.
I understand that the decision-makers within the organization are trying to keep my arm healthy
since the professional season is nearly three times longer than what I was accustomed to in college. But it can be frustrating, because I am used to competing for seven or eight innings as opposed to three or four.
Continually having to meet new guys and adapt to their style of play makes it more difficult to find a comfort level and come together as a team.
since you are in a sense competing against your own teammates just as much as you are against the other team
- Similarly, all of the roster shuffling tends to leave some uneasiness,
. If the guy three lockers over is throwing better than you,
- he—and not you—will likely be first in line to get sent up.
On the other hand, in a college setting, when you step into
that locker room on the first day of practice and look around, you know that those are “your guys” for the entire season, and thus forging a team bond
- is not only easy but necessary.
Whether intentional or not, by the end of the season you truly come to care for those other guys and play for them as much as you play for yourself. This is especially true at Harvard as opposed to a program like Cal State Fullerton,
Professional baseball has proven to be
- which has the ability to retool its squad each season by bringing in seven or eight junior college players.
like most everything else in life in that it has its tradeoffs. Playing in front of 7,300 fans on Opening Night, meeting Roger Clemens, and enjoying countless other new opportunities more than balances out the equation. But it will still be interesting to see how the team aspect
—"In 10 1/3 minor league innings, Frank has allowed only two earned runs...."Editor’s note: Former Harvard hurler Frank Herrmann ’06 is a pitching prospect with the Class A Lake County (Oh.) Captains of the Cleveland Indians organization. This is his diary."...
- (The above article was written while Frank was still a student at Harvard).
Labels: 'Ballpark Frank' Harvard Crimson columnist now pitching for the Cleveland Indians